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Genevieve Vieira
2 minute read
30 Oct 2013
4:00 am

Passionate about parenting

Genevieve Vieira

"It takes 21 days to develop a habit," says Stephen Kendrick, senior associate pastor at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia.

Kendrick is also a film writer and producer, known for his work on Fireproof and Courageous, as well as being the co-writer, with his brother Alex of The Love Dare. Due to that book’s massive worldwide success, the Kendrick brothers have once again challenged readers to a new dare, this time, in their parenting.

“We want to change parents’ thinking and cultivate a DNA of unconditional love in their families. Even when children are being difficult and unpleasant, God challenges us to love them,” says Kendrick.

Parenting styles have a significant impact on our children and the legacy they leave behind. But bringing up kids should not be a burden. If you’re living in a hostile environment with your children, bar the typical behavioural patterns experienced in teenagers asserting their independence, ask yourself: what changes need to be made? Being a parent can envelope so much of who you are that you forget to step back and evaluate your own behaviour.

If it only takes 21 days to develop a habit, then why are these books formulated for 40-day cycles? According to Kendrick, in keeping with the Christian underpinning, Scripture has several significant accounts of great change that occurred in periods of 40 days.

“The Bible is a blueprint on parenting,” he says.

“Scripture tells us that if you have a child’s heart, you’ll have their ears. While children will often need your time, money, patience, and guidance, their greatest need from you is your love.”

Much of what the Kendricks brothers unpack in The Love Dare and The Love Dare For Parents is based on 1 Corinthians 13 (the ‘love chapter’, but the books are not filled with clichés. The Love Dare For Parents offers fresh content that is specifically focused on the love we give to our children. Stephen has five children and his brother Alex has six, making them suitable authors for a book of this nature.

“Even at our age, we still make mistakes,” Kendrick confesses.

“People need to own up and apologise for their wrongdoings. As a parent we are challenged to model the kind of behaviour we want our children to reflect.”

While much of what Kendrick talks about in the book may be second nature to many readers, it is important that these principals are rehashed, as life sometimes gets the better of us. Parents get caught up at work, at the grocery store or paying the bills, often neglecting the most important of them all.

“Every parent sees areas where they need to improve, but they don’t have a plan of action. The key to the book is not about what you learn, but what you actually implement into your relationship with your children on a consistent basis,” Kendrick says.

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