Love-Powered Parenting: Loving Your Kids the Way Jesus Loves You

By Tom & Chaundel Holladay

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Love-Powered Parenting presents parenting on a solid Biblical foundation It is an easily digestible book, in its layout. Each of the six parenting principles has five chapters expounding on the principle. Then, each chapter concludes with a “Verse to Remember” and an “Action to Take”, challenging you to know God’s Word and put it into action. It is a great book to start your day off with and put into action day-by-day over the span of a month. Practical and powerful are the first two adjectives that come to mind to describe this great read!

Parenting Principle #1 – Believe Nothing Is More Important: The Power of Your Priorities

Whatever is a priority in your life gets your time and attention. So, now the tough and earnest question—is parenting a priority for you? Presuming your reading selection reflects your answer as “YES!” And so it all starts with love as the priority and foundation of your parenting. What gets your time and attention is within your control; you make a choice on where an what you spend your time on. Choose to develop love-powered parenting. Establish goals that you aspire to in your parenting. Create an action plan via your schedule—specific dates, routines formed, spontaneity, and sabbath. Finally, come full circle in your heart’s motivation—love. Love drives it all. Love will be the result of your efforts. Love is the priority from the underlying motivation to the ultimate goal in your parenting.

Parenting Principle #2 – Love with New Power: The Power of Your Love

This section of chapters is all about tapping into the ultimate and greatest source of love for power…Jesus Christ. First, it may be abandoning old habits and patterns. In turn, re-lay the foundation so it is solidly poured out upon the Rock, which is only possible through an introspective look at your personal relationship with God. When our foundation rests upon God’s then we can derive a much deeper sense of purpose and meaning in our parenting. It goes well beyond our personal willpower and strength. And it can and will last for eternity leaving a legacy for generations. Thus, helping us to achieve a goal of being an exemplary, model parent doing all that Jesus called us to do in this crucial role in the life of a child.

Parenting Principle #3 – Communicate from the Heart: The Power of Your Words

Words are powerful. Specifically, the words spoken to our children reflect the condition of our own hearts. Again, as so often this book calls you to do, pause and self-reflect on your heart’s condition as it is being poured out through your words. After that, then these chapters are packed with extremely particular scenarios in which to adapt your words. For four days you will process through what to say when your child is struggling, angry, deciding, and anxious. Earmark these pages to refer back to time-and-time again for if and when each scenario arises. Each scenario most certainly will arise, and each chapter is packed with Biblical and practical wisdom to put into practice.

Parenting Principle #4 – Show and Teach Mercy: The Power of Your Discipline and Compassion

These chapters address the age-old question of how to discipline your child; now it is NOT a step-by-step guide but rather provides a great framework as you balance discipline AND compassion. But before you even get to the discipline chapter it starts with the powerful personalized reminder that your children AND you need mercy. What are you teaching your children through your discipline (or lack thereof)? What needs to shift in your parenting approach so that you can stop driving your kids crazy? What?!?! Yes, a hard and earnest look at yourself and your approach are needed FIRST, so you are then prepared to unpack what loving discipline THEN looks like. And beyond the act of discipline, when do you need to offer the gift of compassion? While discipline is necessary, we cannot lose sight of the equally necessary gift of forgiveness. It is transformational in the life of a believer, and it is then most certainly transformational in the structure of your family.

Parenting Principle #5 – Serve Your Children Well: The Power of Your Serving

If you are wondering how to integrate in spiritual disciplines, raising a child to be a lifelong interdependent follower of Jesus, these five chapters are where it is at. Yes, serving alongside and with your children—at church or in the community—is powerful. But it starts with how you are serving your child, as a parent, at home in the day-to-day. What are your words and actions communicating as far as leading your child toward faith? And what is going on behind-the-scenes in your prayer life? There are lots of practical tips in these chapters on how to encourage your child’s spiritual growth and breathe God’s truth along the way in the day-to-day and the overarching gift of parenting.

Parenting Principle #6 – Live the Golden Rule: The Power of Your Unselfishness

These closing chapters boil things down to the bare necessities that life is not all about you. Assess and shift accordingly in how your kids treat you and then, vice versa, how you treat your children. These parent-child dynamics are the fertile soil for experiencing the golden rule and all God intended for relationships. Stop aspiring for perfection when it simply isn’t attainable here on Earth. Likewise, stop believing that there is a “perfect family” that you envy or despise on social media, next door, or in your head. Focus instead on our perfect Heavenly Father. In true Saddleback Church-style, there is a FATHER acrostic in order to refocus your attention on the perfect Father who is the ultimate example and teacher in our parenting. Finally, give it all to God for He is capable of any and all things. Yes, even the seemingly impossible is possible through Him. If “Love-Powered Parenting” seems like a far-off implausible ideal, then devote the daily time to take in this book and all that it has to share. It will help open the doors to the impossible through God’s power. You won’t regret it.

NOTE: “SNAPSHOT” is an attempt to give you a quick, but informative, look at a book that may be a good resource for you. We don’t endorse everything written in any of the books covered in “SNAPSHOT” but strive to pick books we believe will help parents win!


  • Chris Reed | Pastor to Parents | Saddleback Church

    Chris married his beautiful bride, Tina, in 1990. They have three wonderful adult children, Jacob, Kaylee, and Macie Joy. Chris began pastoring at a church in Los Angeles in 1995 where he was the Children’s and Student Pastor. He was the Executive Pastor of Student Ministries at John Maxwell's church in South Florida before he came to Saddleback in 2008 as our Pastor to 20s/30s. He has since served as Pastor to Singles and Pastor to Marriages. He is currently our Pastor to Parents leading the charge for all things Parents Ministry at Saddleback. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biblical Studies and his Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership.

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