From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share their tips and strategies that have helped them achieve a successful self-publishing journey. The following are the words of Chris Groff, author of Parenting By Design.
When we started Parenting by Design, it was because we were learning a type of parenting paradigm that had the potential to dramatically change the relational dynamic in our home, and we knew that there were many other families that were suffering under the same delusions about “successful” parenting that we were. Initially, our goal was just to pass along the information we were receiving to people in our social circles in Fort Worth. We felt God calling us to be transparent about our experiences and to tell our friends about this alternative to the performance-driven, achievement-based culture in which we were living.
We had no designs about starting a ministry, creating a curriculum, writing devotionals or authoring books, but we were available to be used and excited to find that God’s Word described His parenting philosophy. We found that we could study and compare God’s style of parenting to the worldly style we had absorbed from our culture, and that we needed to make some pretty significant changes to better emulate Him.
As we studied God’s parenting style we found that, like us, many Christians were confused about what it means to parent children in a truly biblical way. Sadly, it was difficult to find much difference between the goals of professing Christian parents and those with a secular mindset. Money, power, beauty, and fame kept popping up as the real (though veiled) desires of many seemingly devout followers of Christ for their children. Underneath the platitudes about loving and serving others, there was a furious competition for the most prestigious schools, highest paying jobs, upward social and professional mobility, most advantageous relationships, most attractive appearances, and awards and recognition. We were a big part of this culture until God tore it from our grasp.
Our family’s six-year struggle with addiction, business failure, and disease took us down a path I would not wish on anyone else, but that I would not trade for anything in the world. God wasn’t punishing us – He was saving us. His faithful, loving hand guided us through the storms and left us with a redeemed family. Our relationships with each other and with Him were transformed, as was our understanding of the meaning of “success.” We began to see that success is not dependent on the things the world values because the most successful person in the history of the world had none of those things! God defines success much differently (See Matt 20:26-28).
Our goal remains the same – to pass along the information we receive to people. It’s just become a larger circle of people than our initial group of friends. God has blessed us with a message for parents. The messengers are flawed and the message has been refined by fire, but we have found that, for many parents, our perspective makes the message more approachable. I pray that Parenting by Design will touch many families the way it touched ours.
WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-500 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestBowPress, by tweeting us @westbowpress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com. We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space