In The Spiritual Minded Family, Pastor Barry Cunningham simplifies biblical teachings as they relate to family relationships.
Cunningham believes pride is “at the heart of all disputes” and that “self-centered thinking” is the root of tension between people. By modeling one’s life after Christ’s sacrificial and selfless love—being “spiritual minded”—we find that humility replaces pride, gentle meekness overcomes hostilities, and joy returns to the home.
Cunningham writes concisely, packing a lot of meat into a mere 67 pages. He is adept at creating vivid images to illustrate principles. For example, he asks readers to stand on a chair and try to pull a friend up, illustrating how much easier it is for someone to pull you down to their level rather than you to pull them up to yours. He delivers complicated teachings in easily remembered bites, such as his four vital rules for communication in marriage (tell the truth; settle disagreements before you go to bed; “attack the problem, not your spouse”; be proactive, not reactive); two basic rules for children (be honest and respectful); and the three “Fs” to a happy home (be “firm…fair…fun”). Always pointing back to scripture and Christ’s example, Cunningham offers tangible ways to resolve family conflicts.
Feminist readers may not appreciate Cunningham’s stance on the husband being the head of the family with wives living in submission, but Cunningham tackles the topic head-on, explaining it as symbolizing Christ’s relationship with the church. Additionally, at times the text is repetitive (chapters seven and nine could have been combined, and the ending repeats what has already been covered), but overall what is written is worth repeating.
With sound biblical doctrine for marriage, parenting and even living single, Cunningham’s contribution is relevant and much needed. Christian parents will especially find his work beneficial for navigating the rough waters of family life.
Also available as an ebook.