Book review – “Loving our Kids on Purpose” by Danny Silk

I just finished reading “Loving our Kids on Purpose” by Danny Silk thanks to a review that Judi wrote last week.  It took me 3 days .  I haven’t read a book in three days since college.  I just sent a copy to my friend Kristin to read it with me….sorry Kristin I couldn’t wait!  It was powerful. For many reasons. But the most being this, as I read and this morning as I prayed for God to transform my mothering into His ways, one thing came to the surface and moved me to weeping in my chair with my coffee.

God chooses to love me, He chooses relationship with me over rules and regulation of my life. He allows consequences to come. He allows me to reap what I sow. But He loves me, extravagantly so, every day of my life. This overwhelmed me. I know it, have always heard about it, but many people in my life have (intentionally or not) put stipulations and conditions on their love and approval of me. I have always struggled with earning God’s love, with measuring up, with making enough right choices for Him to love me. He’s done so much work on this. He’s peeled away layer after painful layer and continued to show me the truth.

Nothing I do can earn that love. Nothing will make Him love me more perfectly than He already does. And in the same way, NOTHING I do can take it away.

Last year I was in a bad place. My heart was broken in pieces. Disillusioned on many levels. Marriage, parenting, ministry, friendships-to name a few. In my mind, I made a lot of bad choices. I allowed my heart and thoughts to wander where God could not go. All the while working hard to keep it looking like I had things under control. Nothing could have been farther from the truth.

Instead of resting under His protection and letting Him be my refuge, I walked away. I could scarcely hear His voice calling me back, I had gone so far. He was calling for me to come back from the cliff, telling me I was headed into danger, beckoning me back to abide in the love He (had always) had for me.

In the midst of my not doing things God’s way, His love still permeated my heart. His love drew me back and restored broken places in ways I thought impossible. That is the key truth that I pulled away from this book. We are meant to parent our children in this way. Regardless of the faulty models we’ve had in our lives, regardless of our own shortcomings or immaturity, the way of Jesus is ultimately one of LOVE.

I have failed in many ways and succeeded in others as a mother so far. I recently read “Grace Based Parenting” by Ted Kimmel and sobbed through the whole book. I felt so overwhelmed at what wasn’t there but not equipped on what else to do. I finished the book with sadness, longing and more questions-seeing the need for more grace but still not knowing how to implement it.

After reading “Loving our Kids on Purpose”, I felt thrilled. I felt excited and ready to chart new territory. I had ideas. I had inspiration. I had a better handle on what I knew was truth. The truth is God calls me to love. Above and beyond all else, LOVE. I have confused love with harsh words, yelling, a ton of spanking (that never works) and anger that seems to come out of no where. Most of my mom friends who are honest with me, have the same struggles. I want more than that, I think we all do.

So, here’s to a new chapter on the journey. One with more choices, more questions, more connection with my children and more love.  I am full of gratitude that even when I make wrong choices, God doesn’t kick me in the rear and tell me I should know better, ask when I’m going to get my act together then tell me He needs a break from me for a few while He cools off (yes I’m exaggerating, but you get the idea right?) .

His forgiveness and patience with me are beyond my understanding.  And the love?  I have felt it like warm rain on my face today.  I adore that.



thank you for sharing. putting it on my to-read list.


it’s on my to read list too! Im still reading graced based parenting. Thanks for all the great book reviews

christina bothel

Thank you for your honest heart. It makes me feel a little less alone in my struggle with parenting right now. I am excited to my hands on this book.


Um…that’s amazing, Karissa. Thank you so much for sharing all of that. I love you so very much.


I can see the sunflower turning its face back to the sun and receiving love. Such a beautiful picture.

I completely fell more in love with God after reading this. And I feel so empowered to love my children, my husband, my family. I listen almost daily to Danny, or Bill Johnson who teaches the same principles, and continue to just glean and glean. You would like it. I’m so happy you loved this book as much as I do. bless you friend.


Ok so I’m 3/4 finished with this book and it has been an encouragement already. I can’t wait to finish it. I’ve been trying out ideas already…really want to hear what you’re applying… still struggling with one of the main concepts… but definitely sensing God’s love which I so desperately need right now. THANK YOU.

Julie Ceccarelli

This is a beautiful testimony! God really does love us so much!
I agree with Judi to go to the website and check out more of Danny Silk! I have the audio version of this, haven’t read the book yet…
I want you to know that Danny Silk has been sent your book review on Facebook. I am sure he will be jazzed!


One of my very favorite books and I buy them all the time for shower gifts now! LOL!

carol tracey

messed up and erased your e-mail on facebook I think it was a group thing to review your book. I am so sorry if you could re-send it to my facebook I will be happy to see it.


It is a terrific book. Another one along the same lines is my all-time favorite, Families Where Grace is in Place, by Jeff VanVonderen. Check that out.

I am new to your blog. I am looking for like-minded people in the blogosphere. I just started writing “Growing Up Well” for adults who are helping 10-14 year olds – teachers, parents, coaches, youth group leaders. Google it. I’d love to hear what you think of it so far.


Excuse me for commenting offtopic but which wordpress theme do you use? It’s looking stunning.


Vault9 is the theme we are using currently, but my husband added snow somehow…no idea how 🙂 Blessings!


The theme is Contempt by Vault 9 and as for the snow…it is courtesy of WordPress during the winter season. You simply toggle it on or off in your theme “extra” options.


Karissa you write so well and it comes from your heart. I love your level of honesty and your words take me back to the original community of affirmation and love which of course is the Trinitarian family of God. Continue to nurture your gift of communicating the reality of life.

Punishment or incentive? « Table for Six

[…] the new year is a book that is unlike any parenting book I’ve ever read.  I wrote about it here back in March.  In his book “Loving our Kids on Purpose” Danny Silk lays out a great […]


thanks so much for this review. i am eager to start reading this book now. i too have read “grace based parenting” and at the end thought, “okay, i get it, but what do i do now, where do i start?” i am excited to know that this book may answer some of those questions!


Thank you! I just shared this review with some friends. I was planning on reading this book this year with my husband on parenting and was so happy to confirm that we were making the right choice. Thanks again for sharing!