Grace Based Parenting – Tim Kimmel

Grace based parentingI think this book has revolutionised my thinking in parenting like no other book I’ve read.  Or maybe it’s grabbed me at just the right time, when my heart is primed to be navigating this journey with a different paradigm and set of tools in my backpack.  For whatever reason, it has reasonated with me to the point where it has instantly changed the way I relate to my children.  And for the better.  YES!

I’ve read more philosophies and perspectives on parenting than I can count.  So why this one?

Tim Kimmel doesn’t wade into strategies and techniques.  He doesn’t give a breakdown of what to do in any given situation.  There are no rules and checklists.  And, unlike some books I’ve read, he doesn’t express what is more or less a cultural paradigm and call it ‘biblical’.  Rather, he outlines how to, above all, create an environment of grace in which your children can cultivate their own faith and learn to lean into God to empower them to overcome sin and live out their purpose on the earth with intentionality and not passivity.

The foundational premise of this book is that we are all born with the same condition and the same need for a Saviour.  Our children are no different to us in this regard.  It is our job to point our children to Him and to draw from the power and presence of heaven, as they struggle through their natural bent to sin to overcome.  They will form an inner strength and character to overcome circumstances if we teach them to do this.

The Father relates to us with gentleness, unconditional love, and by laying a strong sense of purpose and hope in our hearts.  What a model for us to look to, as we emulate His ways as parents!

“Grace Based Parenting” also provides a matrix which serves as a useful summary – what your child’s three driving inner needs are, and the four basic things you need to do to maintain a grace-based environment.

I feel equipped with a way of approaching parenting that I can naturally and intentionally run through my own filters as we seek to create a grace-based environment that works in our family’s particular circumstances.

My favourite portrayal of Jesus played by Bruce Marchiano in the Gospel According to Matthew.

** Photo credit at bottom of page

What grace-based parenting IS about: empowerment; forgiveness; boundaries; responsibility; grace to make mistakes; freedom to be vulnerable; freedom to have open and honest communication; and, allowing the freedom for your child to be uniquely different.

What grace-based parenting IS NOT: fear-based; legalistic; overly permissive; highly controlled.  Most of all, it’s not about fear!

I feel myself becoming more and more free from the terrifying fear of damaging my children’s perspective of the Father, to the point where they do not eventually choose Him.  We all want to see our precious ones on the other side. Trust me, I have anguished over this too.

But whether we get the strategies right or wrong, what we should perhaps focus on foremost is that our children are immersed and raised in an environment of grace; I love how Tim puts it:

He chose you to assist Him in a miracle.  He gave you children and then said, “Now go, and give these precious lives meaning.” … This is where many parents panic.  When they realise that their job is to raise up children to love and serve and God, they wonder how on earth they will do that.  The answer isn’t on earth.  It’s found in heaven.  It’s sitting on an eternal throne.  He has many names, but among my favourites is “The God of Grace.”  You wonder, How am I to raise up children to love and serve God?  The answer is actually not that difficult. You simply treat your children the way God treats you.  He does it in His grace.  And here’s the good part.  If the only thing you get right as parents is His grace, everything else will be just fine.

Purchase “Grace Based Parenting” from Book Depository (free worldwide postage).

** Photo Credit: My favourite portrayal of Jesus is by Bruce Marchiano in the Gospel According to Matthew.  This stunning picture has touched my heart for years.  Visit Bruce’s website here.

9 thoughts on “Grace Based Parenting – Tim Kimmel

  1. Mommy Meditations

    I’m ordering this asap. I’ve been having some real parenting struggles lately, as my children get older they are really picking up on some of my weaknesses and I can see, especially in my older son, that my inconsistencies frustrate and anger him. Ironically not only is he noticing them, and being angry about them, but he is starting to imitate them as well, which makes me very sad. Parenting has always confused me to some degree. I never know what is the right re action. I constantly second guess myself which leads to a terrible wishy washiness. This is what frustrates my kids. The rules and expectations are always changing, cause I never feel like I’ve made good rules or that I have the right expectations for them. I’ll “lay down the law” about something in the morning, but as I lay in bed at night I start thinking I was being unreasonable, so next day I’ll change it all around again. The only parenting decision I’ve ever felt confident about was the choice to be a stay at home mom and homeschool. But then even within the homeschooling realm I constantly second guess myself and constantly keep changing things hoping to hit on something I feel confidently was the right choice. I have a real bad habit of thinking that if everyone isn’t happy with the choice, rule, routine ect. then I must have set up the wrong one. Pray for me. It’s very confusing sometime. My husband’s advice to this has always been…”Just be the adult” That confuses me too :o)

    1. homemakingwithheart

      I will pray for you today beautiful friend. 🙂
      You’ve just expressed exactly what so many of us Mums wrestle with. You’re not alone.
      Getting hold of the fact that I should not only not be surprised by my children’s struggle with sin, but that I should expect it and expect that it is an ongoing dilemma for all of us, has been incredibly freeing. My kids are even looking at me now, as I’ve (almost) stopped being shocked and over-reactive towards their behaviour, and I can see on their faces that they’re wondering what on earth is going on! Now we just work through their struggles together. It’s not perfect; it’s raw, real, messy but the results are already showing. As I am becoming freer, so are they. Trust is deepening between us, as particularly my eldest (7) is seeing she is now safe to be herself. It’s not fixing bevaviour as such (as in, creating good little Christian kids/robots) but it is profoundly affecting relationship.
      There is so much more I could share, more than what I can say in a comment!
      I pray that the Lord will speak to you deeply as you read Tim’s book and you and your husband find an expression of His grace in your family. Bless you heaps. 🙂

  2. ABC days of being a mom

    Thank you so much for sharing. I was blessed by your post and I mean so blessed. I need this as my baby keeps growing to guide me. Hopefully I will get some books on parenting too. Above all, may God GUIDE me through amen

  3. katieosborne

    Yes! I read this when my first was an infant and it helped me so much. Have you read “Families Where Grace Is In Place?” Another one that was really helpful to me. And Sally Clarkson has had the biggest impact on my mothering. If you don’t know her, she blogs at She is so inspiring and encouraging!

    1. homemakingwithheart

      Thanks Katie! I love Sally Clarkson and have a pile of her books by my bed. Currently reading Dancing with My Father as well.
      I haven’t read “Families Where Grace Is In Place” but will take a look at that later. Thanks heaps for sharing that.


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