Give Them Grace

This book review by Terry Delaney appears on his website, Christian Book Notes (December 23, 2011). Used by permission. 

  • Fitzpatrick, Elyse and Jessica Thompson. Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2011, 208 pp. $14.99.


Elyse Fitzpatrick is an excellent writer and editor. I have reviewed two of her previous works, both published by Crossway Books, and have thoroughly enjoyed them. This book is a bit different in that it is a parenting resource that was co-written with her daughter, Jessica.


Divided into two parts with ten chapters, and three appendices, Elyse offers her readers a humbled, hindsight, handbook on parenting and pointing your children toward the grace of God found in the cross of Calvary. In part one, she gives us the theological foundations of grace. Within these four chapters, we are treated to biblical examples and reasons for showing grace in our parenting.

In part two, the reader is implored to find the evidences of grace in daily living. This section is comprised of six chapters and begins with a chapter on physical discipline. In each chapter, the authors exhort the reader to continue parenting in light of the cross and to point out the grace in your child’s every day life from behavior to mercies to even the food on the table. By the end of this section, if you have read it and wrestled with the Scriptural principles, you may find yourself viewing your neighborhood as a mission field if you do not already.

The three appendices drive further home the point of the gospel as being central to parenting.


While I really enjoy reading various parenting books, I have found the latest round of books from the likes of Tedd and Paul Tripp, CJ Mahaney, etc. to be extremely helpful. Add Elyse Fitzpatrick and her daughter to that list. What I enjoyed the most about this particular resource is the humbled hindsight offered by Elyse. She openly admits to not getting it right all the time though she tried.

As a parent, we all understand the difficulty in maintaining our witness to our children when disciplining them. Elyse takes on the roll of that godly Christian mom that wants to be an asset and train up the younger women (and yes, men since men will also read this resource) to be better than she was as a parent. At the very least, be a bit more consistent.

I do wish in the chapter on discipline, they would have a been a bit less non-committal on the issue of spanking but they are adamant that spanking, if done properly, is biblical and that parents must come to their own (biblically-informed) conclusions on this matter.

Audio Review

I also was able to listen to this book from christianaudio. I found the quality of the audio to be exceptional. Tavia Gilbert narrated the book with great care and seemingly as a parent herself looking back on her own  years as a mother. Her emotions run the gamut along with Elyse’s writing from sorrow to joy and even singing with a beautiful voice that made me stop and listen to it again.

The only negative to the audio was once again the formatting of the files as they appear on my mp3 player. This has always been my biggest critique of christianaudio.


As a father of five children ages seven and under (as of the writing of this review), I found Elyse’s exhortations, confessions, and gospel-centered message to be refreshing and encouraging. There are days when you do not feel like you are doing a great job of parenting (and some days this is true) but Elyse and her daughter, Jessica, point the readers to the same cross that, as parents, we should be pointing our children. I highly recommend this resource to all parents who call on the name of Christ as Lord and Savior.

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