Watching our children become adults is, perhaps, even harder. In fact, I had a conversation about this with a mom just last evening. She wanted to know what had happened (overnight, it seemed) to the boy she had raised so far. The teen years are full of surprises.
Candy Gibbs holds a degree in psychology, and is the Executive Director of the CareNet Pregnancy Centers in Amarillo, Texas, as well as a speaker and radio host, and parent of three. I was really interested in seeing what she would have to say, as she works regularly with teens in crisis–visiting a pregnancy center can occur at the height of indecision and pain for young women…..
Topics covered in Rescue (Fedd Books, 2014) include:
- Faith and identity
- Sex and society
- College and beyond
For each chapter, Mrs. Gibbs gives advice and observations of her own, consults a team of twenty-somethings (whom she refers to as the lifeguards) and reports their observations, offers practical take-away tips, and then presents Scripture verses.
I have to admit, I was nervous when I saw the quotes at the beginning of each chapter coming from sources I would not necessarily choose (Pope Francis, for example). However, I agreed with Mrs. Gibbs on much of the advice she offers parents. I appreciated that she called homosexuality and abortion sins. I felt much of her advice was sound, and I appreciated her openness and heartbreaking yet redemptive testimony.
The information given on each topic from the “lifeguards” was presented in the form of short personal testimonies. These were interesting to read, as they gave some insight to the culture our children are growing up in, and what their friends may be thinking and saying. Some of the advice offered was difficult for me to get on board with, but it could be that my age is starting to show. I’m on my third and fourth trip through parenting adolescents, and I’m certain that my ideas about how to disciple children are quite a bit different than when I was a young single.
Overall, I think Rescue is an interesting book with sound advice.
There were areas I did not entirely agree with, such as the chapter on homosexuality. I did appreciate that Mrs. Gibbs gave her own take on the issue–that abstinence is the acceptable choice in one who wishes to follow Christ, but is unshakingly attracted to the same gender. Yet, the letter she shares from the parent of a homosexual man stated: “They (her son and his husband) also know that we are much more concerned that they choose not to love God than that they are homosexual.” The Bible is clear that we cannot live in open, unrepentant, habitual sin and love God. We must repent. The two are linked.
Overall, I found Rescue to be a helpful book. I have the feeling that where Candy Gibbs walks heavily on the side of grace, she does so out of compassion and concern for young people. There were areas I felt the Biblical stance on an issue could be a little more strongly stated, but I also felt she did a good job of calling a sin a sin, and exploring tough and relevant issues for parents of today’s young people, while encouraging parents to come alongside their teens and love them through their struggles.
I want to thank Fedd Books for sending me a copy of Rescue in return for my honest review, and for providing a copy for the giveaway.
You can find Rescue: Raising Teens in a Drowning Culture at
Other parenting books reviewed on Thinking Kids
- You, Your Family, and the Internet by David Clark
- Raising Real Men by Hal and Melanie Young
- Organic Outreach for Families by Kevin G. and Sherry Harney
- Engaging Today’s Prodigal by Carol Barnier
- Intentional Parenting by Tad Thompson
- Your Child’s Profession of Faith by Dennis Gundersen
Or just check out the Thinking Kids book review indexes for
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- Christian Books for 4-7 Year Olds
- Christian Books for the Middle Grades
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~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.