Grace Based Parenting Discussion Questions

“How we view God determines how we parent our children.”


Seven years ago, I read Grace Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel. We were pregnant with our first child and it pretty much framed my whole context for parenting. It might sound dramatic, but really- not a day goes by that I don’t still think about these things. If you are looking for a super practical book on do’s & don’ts for disciplining your children, this is not your book. But if you are looking for a bigger parenting vision that will shape those everyday decisions, this is it.

The premise of the book is that God primarily parents us out of grace. Truth and discipline come in the context of His greater story of love toward His children.

He talks about  7 types of Parenting: Fear-Based, Evangelical Behavior-Modification, Image-Control, High Control, Herd-Mentality. Duct-Tape and Life-Support/ 911 Parenting. If you can’t relate to at least one of these, we probably can’t be friends because I’m several of these.

He also talks about a child’s three greatest needs: security (met through love), significance (met through purpose) and strength (met through hope) and 4 necessary freedoms for our children: The freedom to be different, vulnerable, candid and to make mistakes. This is SUCH GOOD STUFF!

If that doesn’t convince you, here are some of my favorite quotes:

“The real test of a parenting model is how well equipped the children are to move into adulthood as vital members of the human race. Notice I didn’t say ‘as vital members of the Christian community.’ We need to have kids that can be sent off to the most hostile universities, toil in the greediest work environments, and raise their families in the most hedonistic communities and yet not be the least bit intimidated by their surroundings. Furthermore, they need to be engaged in the lives of people in their culture, gracefully representing Christ’s love…”

“God left our families in communities to serve as porch lights, if you will, for the lost people around us.”

“How we view God determines how we parent our children.”

“Sometimes God deliberately puts things in our children’s lives that make them feel extremely fragile- and He doesn’t take them away.”

“Jesus makes people feel comfortable even when He catches them without their makeup. When circumstances scrub off the layers of their self-confidence, and their shortcomings wash away the foundation of their self-righteousness, Jesus isn’t appalled by the blemishes He finds underneath.”

Other topics for discussion:

  • Safe vs Strong kids
  • Loving our kids based on their needs and best interests vs. ours
  • Helping your children develop skills that enable them toward future greatness
  • Helping your children develop a spiritual purpose
  • Encouraging your children to live a great spiritual adventure
  • Non moral/ Preference issues elevated to spiritual issues
  • Legalistic or Cheap grace homes vs grace based parenting
  • Regularly affirming your child
  • Rejecting what your friends think as most important
  • Consequences

I recommend getting the book & reading it with friends. We really benefitted from sitting with our peers who were in our similar stage of life and sharing openly about our struggles as well as our hopes and dreams for our children. I’m attaching my questions & I hope they’re helpful to you. Enjoy!




2 Comments on “Grace Based Parenting Discussion Questions

  1. This is a great encouragement to reread this awesome book! I love the way he talks about parenting and how he frames it. It has helped shape the lense I view parenting through. I wish I could have been a part of the peer group you discussed this with 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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