Parenting with the Beatitudes: Eight Holy Habits for Daily Living by Jeannie and Ben Ewing is an accessible way to grow in virtue as a family.
It’s a good book for reading a little bit each night with your spouse. Being written by a husband/wife team, it’s helpful as it covers both perspectives. I have enjoyed Jeannie’s writing in the past, but it was refreshing to hear Ben’s perspective, I think as my husband and I read it we found “both sides of the story” well-represented.
The book is well organized, with commentaries by both authors. At only around 150 pages, it is a manageable read.
Each chapter focuses on one of the eight Beatitudes. There is then a section in Jeannie’s voice and then one in Ben’s voice, followed by a section on either St. Joseph or Mary as they lived that Beatitude. There is then a section on how to bring that virtue into the home, followed by an action plan, which details age-specific suggestions. This would be a great work if parents ever had a chance to get together in a book study group. I might consider discussing just over dinner with friends. It’s very accessible and easy to read.
I enjoyed the section on “needs vs. desires.” I think it is easy for us to blur the lines between the two. Ben Ewing had a good example of “thirsting” for righteousness and that it’s far more difficult to desire God’s righteousness. He gave the example of “thirsting” for an impatient driver to get a speeding ticket and having a smug sense of satisfaction, not knowing that it was a parent who was hurrying with their child to the emergency room. We don’t have the knowledge to be judge and jury.
Parenting with the Beatitudes would be a great book for new parents, but also for those who feel they are in the rut or “too busy” phase of parenting. Full of suggestions and helpful insights, it was a pleasure to read.
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Copyright 2019 Meg Herriot
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