Child Proof: Parenting by Faith, Not Formula

by Julie Lowe

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Description

As a freedom-over-formula parenting book for moms, dads, and caregivers of all ages, Child Proof provides biblical insight and encouragement for readers who want to parent by faith. As an experienced counselor of children and families and an adoptive and foster mom applying the CCEF model of biblical change, Julie Lowe uses Scripture and biblical wisdom to teach caregivers how to know their children and specifically love them with the love of Christ. 

Every family is unique, which is why Child Proof explores the need for parents to cultivate personal and intimate care for their children as modeled in God’s individual, personal, and fatherly care to his children. This child-rearing book lays a foundation of parenting by faith and progresses by teaching readers how they can know their own kids well and raise them accordingly. By discussing particular issues moms and dads might have in family life, Lowe demonstrates how formulas aren’t the answer, and parenting with biblical wisdom is best for a proactive rather than reactive approach to parenting.

Through Lowe’s personal and professional experience, moms, dads, and caregivers, as well as those helping parents—pastors, counselors, youth workers, and churches—will discover gospel-centered application rather than formulas for the ideal family, equipping guardians to be experts at knowing their own children so they can know Scripture and live it out personally in their homes.

By establishing a mind-set rather than a model or a step-by-step “how to” approach to parenting, Child Proof empowers readers to come up with their own blueprint for their families through a biblical framework.

Author

Julie Lowe is a faculty member at CCEF. She holds an MA in counseling from Biblical Theological Seminary. She is a licensed professional counselor with over 18 years of counseling experience. Julie is also a registered play therapist and has developed a play therapy office at CCEF to better serve families, teens, and children Julie and her husband, Greg, have six children and serve as foster and adoptive parents. She is the author of Childproof: Parenting by Faith Not Formula and has written minibooks and numerous articles for the Journal of Biblical Counseling

Endorsements

"Parents often want 'six steps to raising good kids,' but God instead gives a vision for how to love well and wisely, humbly and faithfully, amid all the ups and downs. Julie understands that parenting is not like computer programming or car mechanics—parenting is ministry."
David Powlison, Executive Director, Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF); author

"Combine Julie's years of experience working with children, along with her personal parenting journey, and you have in your hands a grand-slam book that is deeply practical and biblically rich! Each page brings hope and courage to embrace uniqueness rather than uniformity in the parenting process."
Eliza Huie, Biblical Counselor and Executive Director for Life Counseling Center Ministries; author of Raising Kids in a Screen-Saturated World

"Join Julie as she lays a biblical foundation for parenting, and then benefit from her experience as she helps you navigate a number of challenging situations with grace and wisdom. I couldn't wait to share this content with my wife and family!"
Jonathan D. Holmes, Pastor of Counseling, Parkside Church; executive director, Fieldstone Counseling

"No matter how you approach it, parenting is a complex undertaking. We think that formulas will make it easier, but they either bog us down with their demands or lead to discouragement when they fail to deliver. In Child Proof, Julie Lowe helps us rethink parenting so that in faith, we can love our children personally and minister God's wisdom to their unique needs."
Brian Liechty, Pastor for Care & Counseling, Bethlehem Baptist Church North Campus

"When you have prayed for your kids, sought to lovingly encourage them with Jesus, and things are still a mess, Julie comes along at just the right moment with creative suggestions that give fresh direction."
Ed Welch, Faculty and Counselor, CCEF; author of A Small Book about a Big Problem

"Julie's home is a 'story.' That's her word. It's what God has been writing in her, her husband, and their six kids. Each chapter of their parenting story emerges in the chapters of Child Proof to show other imperfect parents how Christ, by faith, is sufficient for their story with their unique children. Child Proof is biblically principled, realistically wise, immediately applicable, and filled with hope."
Rick Horne, Author of Get Outta My Face! How to Reach Angry, Unmotivated Teens with Biblical Counsel and Get Offa My Case! Godly Parenting of an Angry Teen

"Simplistic and cookie-cutter approaches to parenting overpromise and underdeliver. Julie Lowe offers a parenting pathway that is far wiser and richer. She shows that loving our children is a multifaceted venture of faith-filled dependence on God, patient and careful study of our children, and creative application of biblical wisdom to the particularities of each child's life."
Michael R. Emlet, Faculty and Counselor, CCEF; author of CrossTalk: Where Life and Scripture Meet and Descriptions and Prescriptions: A Biblical Perspective on Psychiatric Diagnoses & Medications

"How can we parent with wisdom and grace in a rapidly changing world that offers increased parenting challenges and parenting formulas that may seem right but which fail to deliver? With vulnerability and experience, Julie Lowe offers practical, biblically sound guidance on how to parent faithfully—recognizing that God can and will work in us and through us as we face parenting challenges, fears, and difficulties. In a day and age marked by the collapse of parenting, Julie will help you to pause, ponder, and regroup in ways that will better equip you to parent to the glory of God."
Walt Mueller, President, Center for Parent/Youth Understanding

"I wish this book had been available when I was raising my kids! No formulas. No 'ideal families.' But hope and help for real parents, real children, real conversations, real life, with a real God. It presents a high call to love our kids with Jesus's sacrificial, personalized love and the freedom to let go of trying to manipulate the results. I hope every current and prospective parent will read this book!"
Elizabeth W. D. Groves, Lecturer in Biblical Hebrew, Westminster Seminary; author of Grief Undone: A Journey with God and Cancer

"In this social media age we are programmed to look for 'five steps to this' and 'three reasons for that.' Sometimes this approach can be helpful but it's often too simplistic to address complex issues such as family life and parenting. Formulas can be even more exasperating when they ignore the individual aptitudes, personalities, and needs of our children. What is most impressive about this book is that it resists the pressure to come up with formulas for parenting, and instead, provides biblically grounded tools and practical wisdom to help the reader with one of the greatest challenges anyone has to face: being a parent."
Timothy Witmer, Emeritus Professor of Practical Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary; author of The Shepherd Leader at Home

"For anyone who has secretly suspected that the typical parenting formulas can't cope with the complexity of your family life, this book will be a revelation. With her typical warmth, wit, and biblically rich wisdom, Julie has blown the roof off my tightly held, false parenting expectations. Instead, with realism and honesty, she points the way to parenting by faith in the Lord who is present even in the most complex of family moments. I have never read a parenting book that left me more hopeful."
Ste Casey, Course tutor and speaker, Biblical Counselling UK; pastor, Speke Baptist Church, Liverpool, UK

Reviews (5)

Write a review

An Excellent Christ-Centered Guide to Parenting

Parenting is hard work. Sleepless nights, tears rolling at the dinner table because of a new food introduced, discipline for disobedience, positive encouragement and training, teaching new things. The list could go on and on. But anyone who is a parent knows that parenting is hard work. What oftentimes makes it even harder is the unending opinions out there about the right way or the secret formula to parenting, the silver bullet, the magical program. Poll ten different parents and you’ll likely get ten different opinions about the “right” formula for parenting. It can all be a little overwhelming, daunting, and even discouraging.

If you are such a parent that has been overwhelmed or discouraged by the endless opinions about “the” formula for successful parenting, let me encourage you by introducing you to an excellent new book — Child Proof: Parenting By Faith Not Formula by Julie Lowe. In the book’s introduction, Julie summarizes well the basic premise of the book:

“The answer we need as parents is not a formula for our families. I believe we should be looking at something far more challenging. Instead of providing a parenting recipe, God calls parents to think biblically, wisely, and carefully about what love looks like in their unique family. This calling requires an absolute dependence on godly wisdom, on spiritual discernment regarding my family, and on personal holiness to be what my family needs me to be. The goal is a home centered on Christ. This is not a formula I submit myself to, but neither is it a license to do whatever seems right in my own eyes. Far from it! Rather, it means a commitment to understanding Scripture’s principles of godly relationships and the call and responsibility to lead a home” (13).

The book is separated into two main sections. In the first section, Julie focuses on the foundations for parenting by faith. In these 6 chapters, the reader is introduced to this idea of parenting by faith versus parenting by formula, what it means to be a Christ-centered parent, what it means to adopt plans and formulas to the unique needs of your family, and so forth. These six chapters are really the “meat” of the book. In these chapters, as the book suggests, you will not find some “new” formula that promises to be the silver bullet to be better than all the other parenting plans out there. Rather, what you will find is a look at what it means for us as parents to center everything we do on Christ and the biblical principles and wisdom found in God’s perfect, inerrant, and sufficient Word.

How those principles are applied to each individual family will look very different and be very unique because, let’s face it, no two families are exactly alike. Parents are different. Children are different. Circumstances are different. And God knows this. Therefore, while we operate within a firm commitment to understand Scripture’s principles of godly relationships and how to lead a home, there is a ton of freedom in how those things are carried out in each individual, unique family.

One thing that I love about the chapters in this first part of the book is that each chapter concludes with “Reflection Questions.” These questions would be excellent for a husband and wife to work through and think through together, as well as a small group or Bible Study to go through when studying this topic of Christ-Centered Parenting.

The second part of the book is more of a practical field guide in what this sort of parenting by faith would look like in nine different common scenarios and situations. Those 9 chapters are as follows:

1. Parenting a Difficult Child
2. Parenting an Anxious Child
3. Parenting a Child with Disabilities
4. When Your Child Says, “I Don’t Know”
5. When Your Child Says, “I Am Bored”
6. When Your Child Isn’t Thankful
7. The Importance of Role Playing and Practice
8. Technology and Your Child
9. When Your Child Beaks Your Heart

In each of these chapters, the reader is given a whole host of excellent, biblical advice and counsel to be considered and applied to their unique child and their unique family. For example, in chapters 8, “Parenting an Anxious Child,” Julie gives some biblical reasons for why children struggle with anxiety, a look at what message they need to hear from God’s Word, concluding with 13 ways that parents can give their child comfort if they’re struggling with anxiety. Things like, “You are not alone” (Psalm 23:4), “You have value” (1 Peter 2:9), “There is help” (Psalm 46:1; Hebrews 4:15-16), and “What you are going through is temporary” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

Conclusion

Parenting is hard work. But it is hard work that is immeasurably rewarding and valuable. Whether you are a new parent, a parent with elementary school kids, a parent with teenagers, or not even a parent yet but thinking forward to that day, you will be greatly helped by this new book by Julie Lowe. It is filled with practical wisdom, godly examples, and most importantly a Christ-centered focus. As David Powlison excellently says in the book’s forward,

“Julie Lowe gets the premise right. She gives you a way of coming at the whole adventure of being a parent. Yes, she offers some good ideas along the way, some very good ideas. But more than that, she will invite you to live in a way that opens the door to loving a child in the ways this particular child needs to be love” (x).

I would strongly encourage any parent, grandparent, or couple thinking about becoming a parent to grab a copy of this book and be strengthened, challenged, encouraged, and equipped to parent by faith, not formula, in a Christ-Centered way that is tailored to the individual needs of your unique children and your particular family.

In accordance with FTC regulations I would like to thank New Growth Press for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Posted by Zack Ford on 26th Mar 2019

A Relationship Builder for Parenting

"Try this new technique. Read this latest book." When it comes to parenting, there appears to be no shortage of advice shared. Yet, for those who are in the midst of raising children, the assessment is not all of these techniques and books apply well into their parenting. Some of the instruction passed on gives the impression that if parents simply follow this technique or apply the information in that book, their children will respond accordingly. In other words, it is parenting by formula. The problem is parenting by formula is not parenting done best. That is because there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to parenting. Parenting done best requires parents to know their children well and apply what they know with biblical wisdom. It is this wisdom Julie Lowe imparts her new book Child Proof: Parenting By Faith, Not Formula.

The What and How of Parenting By Faith

Drawing from her experiences as a counselor and relating with her life as a parent, Mrs. Lowe spends the first half of the book laying the foundation of what parenting by faith is before she devotes the latter half of the book to show how this biblical truth works out with different types of and circumstances with children (such as parenting a difficult child, an anxious child, or a child with disabilities). Along the way, she equips parents by posing reflection questions and listing out some helpful thoughts and biblical considerations.

Encourage and Equip

Child Proof encourages parents to trust God in their parenting and equips them with getting to know their child. The two themes of depending upon God in faith and getting to know your child personally run throughout the book. Rather than giving a step-by-step process of parenting, which would be formula-like, this book shares biblical wisdom by providing guidance on how parenting can help shape the child with a biblical worldview. The author also reveals how attempting to parent by formula can actually hinder parenting by faith. Neither parents nor technique experts have all the answers and parenting by faith acknowledges that as well as the need for guidance from God, our Heavenly Father.

This book has a wealth of wisdom but what may be one of the most encouraging and unique contributions of this book is it emphasizes the individuality of the child, that each child is not a carbon copy of the other. This means that if you raise children in the admonition of the Lord and yet one goes astray while the other does not, that is not necessarily a reflection on the parenting. The book informs parents the goal of parenting is not in success as others see it but in faithfulness to what God has said. The book repeatedly tells parents children are moral responders and while parents can influence their children, the child is the one who bears responsibility for how they respond in life and to their parents.

A Relationship Builder

In the end, Child Proof: Parenting by Faith, Not Formula by Julie Lowe is a relationship builder for parents to trust the Lord and to know their child. This book is for the parent who knows they cannot raise children on their own but are dependent upon the Lord. If you are (or know) a parent who wants to know your child better than the latest parenting technique, then get to know how to do so by getting your copy of Child Proof. As you replace parenting by formula with parenting by faith, you will grow as a parent, leaning on the Lord and learning how to best parent your child.

I received this book from New Growth Press in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.
Posted by Theron St. John on 22nd Nov 2018

Excellent book helping us to parent in faith

Many parents seek a one-size-fits-all solution. We want simple answers to complicated problems and we want them to work every time.

Yet each family is different, each child is different, each circumstance is different. Our personalities vary, our temperaments differ. Each parent has their own sins, gifts and tendencies, and each child has their own sins, gifts and tendencies.

We fool ourselves into thinking there could be the same solution for every problem. Thankfully Julie Lowe has come to the same realization and shared it with us in her book Child Proof.

She starts by freeing parents from the trap of thinking there is only one right way to parent, and in fact what God calls us to is not a formula but faith. We are called to love God and love our children and that will impact the way we parent more than any structure, routine, guideline or expectation. We need to parent centering on Christ – cultivating his character and love in our family life, becoming an expert on our family and parenting according to their needs. We need discerning discipline and to prioritise building bridges to our children, strengthening our relationship with them.

The final section: Parenting by Faith Applied, deals with particular situations, including parenting a difficult child, an anxious child, when you child says “I don’t know” and the importance of role playing and practicing situations with them.

The real benefit of this book will be seen in how you choose to apply it. You could read it, think, “that’s great” and move on to the next book of wisdom that is released. Or, you could stop, work through her instructive questions and suggestions at the end of each chapter, and in God’s grace and wisdom, consider how to parent your children by faith in God and his good plans, despite our sins and weaknesses.

(I received an eBook in exchange for an honest review)
Posted by Wendy on 18th Nov 2018

Additional info

Weight: 0.75 LBS
Width: 5.50
Height: 8.50
Depth: 0.70
Author: Julie Lowe
ISBN-13: 978-1-948130-15-8
ISBN-13 (eBook): 978-1-948130-16-5
Publication Date: September 24, 2018
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 176
Read a Sample: https://newgrowthpress.com/content/Samples/Child-Proof-Sample.pdf