Parenting the Wholehearted Child
Are you exhausted from the pressure to be a perfect parent raising perfect children in this imperfect world? Do you ever wonder, “How did these precious children get stuck with a parent like me?” If so, let these grace-drenched pages saturate your heart with God’s unfailing love while also equipping you to be a vessel of God’s unconditional love to your children.
With authenticity, conviction, and a lively sense of humor, Jeannie guides parents on a transformative journey into raising wholehearted—not perfect—children, who live from the freedom found in being wholeheartedly loved (and liked!) by God.
Parenting the Wholehearted Child equips parents with Biblical wisdom and practical ideas to teach children they are fully accepted by God, not because of anything they do or don’t do but because of everything Jesus has already done for them.
Woven throughout the book is the good news that it is God’s extravagant grace, not a parent’s perfect performance, that transforms the hearts of children.
FOREWORD BY ELISABETH HASSELBECK
I cannot thank Jeannie Cunnion enough for being a gift to, and an honest vulnerable voice of, parents. She is able to offer the most refreshing nudges to help us recall all that the Lord says to us and what he has done for us, to set us free from the shackles of unreasonable expectations. Her ability to draw us in, traveling through her day’s defeat, challenge, or moment of grace with her kids, is not only relatable but eye-opening. Jeannie’s ability to recount an ordinary moment and use it to explore an extraordinary truth about how we are called to parent leaves me feeling renewed.
This world seeks to take our children away from God, and as a parent desperate to grow my kids to have a heart for God, I have found both solutions and peace in Jeannie’s writing. It is honest, fresh, not preachy, effortlessly selfless, and wonderfully humble.
In every bit of Jeannie’s book is every parent. Join me in reading it over and over again.
jeannie’s mom says this is the best book about parenting ever written, but …… just in case you’re concerned she’s biased, here’s what others are saying……..
Rarely do I ever find myself agreeing with everything I read in a book. But Parenting The Wholehearted Child is the book I wish I’d written. Jeannie has given parents a profound gift within its pages.
~Kathie Lee Gifford Actress, Singer, Playwright, Songwriter and co-host of the Today Show’s Fourth Hour
Balancing grace and discipline as a parent can be so complicated. Jeannie helped me through the pages of this book understand that my goal can’t be to raise kids who make me proud. Rather, my goal needs to be to help my kids cultivate a relationship with Jesus who can captivate and shape their hearts.
~ Lysa TerKeurst, New York Times best-selling author and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries
Parenting the WholeheartedChild is the best kind of “how to” book: It offers practical advice and parenting tips wrapped up in the blanket of God’s grace–which means it’s okay to make mistakes! By shifting the focus from rules to relationships, Cunnion tackles everything from sibling squabbles to scripture memory with good humor and the honesty of a parent who’s “been there.” Moms, grab some girlfriends and read this book together. You’ll come away knowing that God isn’t just crazy about your kids–he’s crazy about you, too!
~Jodie Berndt, author of Praying the Scriptures for Your Children
If there is ever an area of life where I have felt desperation it is in parenting. Trying to raise children and teach them about God’s love for them in Christ is a daunting task. In Parenting the Wholehearted Child, Jeannie Cunnion shows how the good news of the gospel applies to bringing children up. She gives us needy parents practical help, all the while reminding us that our identity is grounded in what Christ has done instead of what we do. Jeannie has created a tremendous resource for parents.
~Jessica Thompson, co-author of Give Them Grace, author of Exploring Grace Together: 40 Devotionals for the Family
In this lovingly scripted parenting manual, my friend Jeannie bestows a compelling message on parents and children alike, as she reminds us that we are unconditionally loved (and liked!) by God in Jesus Christ. Parenting the Wholehearted Child invites parents to “taste and see that God is good” by setting aside the notion that we must raise perfect kids, replacing it with the extravagant grace of the gospel that can powerfully captivate our hearts as well as our children’s.
~Kimberly Crandall, author of Christ in the Chaos: How the Gospel Changes Motherhood
It’s so easy for me to locate my sense of worth and value in how I am doing as a parent. If my children are doing well—making wise decisions, being kind to their siblings, doing good in school—I feel like a success. If they’re not doing well, then I feel like a failure. Living under this pressure to “save myself” by turning out successful children is the primary reason parenting has been so exhausting to me. My friend Jeannie has written a parenting book that will set you free. Over and over again she has reminded me that everything I need and long for I already possess because of what Jesus has done for me. This means that, as a parent, I don’t have to win, be the best, succeed, raise the perfect kids, and so on, to feel like I matter. This has brought huge relief to me and as a result I now find myself being more patient, more forgiving, more loving (and enjoying my children more!) because I’m not relying on “the way they turn out” to validate me. Thank-you, Jeannie.
~Tullian Tchividjian, Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and author of One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World
Parenting the Wholehearted Child offers freedom to burdened moms. I am often heavy with the responsibility of teaching God’s grace, love, and law to my little ones. Jeannie has beautifully explored profound principles and broken them into doable pieces. I feel capable and empowered.
~Courtney DeFeo, Writer and Owner of Lil Light O’ Mine
Jeannie’s wisdom left me with this life changing truth: transformed parenting comes from transformed parents. This book offers both. With humor, real-life stories and Biblical truth, every parent who reads it will discover deeper personal freedom and grace-based tools to love their kids in a whole new way.
~Francie Winslow, MOPS Coordinator, Speaker, Writer
Parenting the Wholehearted Child is a must-read for every parent whose heart’s desire is to build a firm foundation for their kids to grow in Christ-like character and faith. With honesty, compassion, and a lively sense of self-effacing humor, Jeannie Cunnion offers parents a fresh, biblically-based approach to raising young children that is at once firm and gentle, practical and inspired, no-nonsense and nurturing. Parenting the Wholehearted Child is an essential guide for parents who passionately want to lead their children to the heart of God. It is a book that will surely be a blessing for families everywhere.
~Kathryn Slattery, Author, If I Could Ask God Anything: Awesome Bible Answers for Curious Kids, andHeart Songs: A Family Treasury of True Stories of Hope and Inspiration
Jeannie’s writing is like having coffee with a wise friend who truly loves you. Parents of young children will laugh often as they follow her path through biblically-supported best practices for raising great kids. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
~Jocelyn (Jill) S. Woolworth, LMFT, Center for Hope and Renewal
As a Pastor, I meet too many parents who are having all the joy and adventure sucked out of raising young children by a well intentioned and yet slavish adherence to the latest literary legalism on parenting. So thank you Jeannie Cunnion for opening wide the floodgates to the unconditional love of God and for laying out for us an honest, practical, grace centered antidote. As a Dad, I read Jeannie’s humble wisdom with a greater appreciation for my wife, a whole hearted desire to spend more time with my children and hope that it is not too late; by the grace of God I can be a good Dad.
~ Andrew Williams, Author, Breakout, and Senior Pastor, Trinity Church, Greenwich, CT
Parenting the Wholehearted Child is the best book on practical Christian parenting I have ever read– hands down. Jeannie Cunnion has managed to wade into the perilous minefield of “rules” without stepping on any legalisms or moralisms, which is remarkable. Her entire understanding of discipline is grounded in the unconditional love of the Father, the self-giving sacrifice of the Son and the continually outpoured power of the Holy Spirit. She uses inspiring Scriptural references with accuracy and precision, and her approach to Christian parenting is practical, accessible, psychologically sound, and developmentally sensitive. I wish I’d had this book in hand when my children were young!
~ Hillary Bercovici, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Trinity Institute, Greenwich, CT
In our age of meritocracy, people are ever-striving to feel worthy. This divinely-inspired book helps parents protect children from the achieve-aholic treadmill by building a foundation of God’s unmerited love and wisdom into their child’s life.
~Michael Lee Stallard, Author, Fired Up or Burned Out
Jeannie Cunnion’s book Parenting the Wholehearted Child is a breath of fresh air for those of us in the parenting trenches. Not only are her tips on integrating Christ into our children’s lives important, they’re very practical. Many times I’ve read advice on parenting only to close the books after a few chapters, feeling worse than I did before, because I could see no way to practically integrate the ideas. Jeannie has provided the tools we all can use in teaching our children about grace and God’s love for us all. And best of all, it’s a fun read with stories to which we can all relate.”
~Christy Kyser Truitt, award-winning author of Southern fiction
Funny and tender, “Parenting the Wholehearted Child” is Jeannie Cunnion’s invitation into the chaos that is motherhood. I fell in love with Cal, Owen and Brennan as they struggle through the bonds of brotherhood, and develop what will surely be life-long friendships with Jesus. “Parenting the Wholehearted Child” is a useful tool-kit, full of grace and wisdom.
~Karen Spears Zacharias, author of Mother of Rain
In Parenting the Wholehearted Child, the word “wholehearted” is not just a catchphrase. With a deep understanding of unconditional love, Jeannie Cunnion guides the reader through everyday moments with her children, and she makes the word “wholehearted” come alive as an honest, vulnerable and extraordinary way to both parent and live.
~ Patti Callahan Henry, NYT Bestselling novelist
Every Christian parent that I’ve ever known wants their child to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In Parenting the Wholehearted Child, Jeannie Cunnion shares how we, in our imperfection but with God’s grace, can raise children who know whose they are and who are filled with the knowledge of God’s endless love for them.
~ Kris Faasse, LMSW, Bethany Christian Services, Director of Adoption Services