No Ordinary Child is no ordinary book on parenting! It seems that God is using author Denise Mira to deliver a powerful punch of conviction with this little book. Mrs. Mira administers a healthy dose of humor while sounding a serious wake-up call to parents. She shares her mother's heart and personal struggles as she gives practical tips on raising our children to become godly leaders.
You can't judge a book by its cover, but the front cover of No
Ordinary Child: Unlocking the Leader Within Your Child gives a great indication of what to expect within its pages. A talented piece of graphic art, the cover shows a cute baby in a diaper with a "Born to Lead" tattoo on his little bicep. Opening the book, I was surprised to find a temporary tattoo of the same kind inside! The front cover cleverly demonstrates Denise Mira's ability to get a serious message across with a bit of laughter!
The book gets its title from Hebrews 11:23, when Moses' parents decided to hide Moses and not fear Pharaoh because they saw he was "no ordinary child." Denise Mira wants all Christian parents to realize that our homes are full of "no ordinary children" and that these children can be molded and shaped to serve the Lord here and for eternity, if only we'll awaken to the precious responsibility we've been given.
Mrs. Mira calls for revolutions to begin with us in our homes, educational systems, and churches. She asks us to stop fearing being counter-cultural, but to embrace God's ways more fully. She lays out the biblical high calling for parents, speaking to both mothers and fathers about their specific roles. She reminds us how short our time is on earth, and how quickly children grow. She hits us parents hard about our own spiritual walk, encouraging us to get on our knees in prayer and into God's Word -- now. Mrs. Mira reminds parents that we are living examples to our children. She encourages us to let our kids hurt and struggle, to not always make things too easy or pleasant for them because this will dwarf their spiritual growth. She encourages us to stay away from indulging the children and reminds us that raising children means constant "weeding." An appendix in the back of book gives 26 parenting tips called the ABC's of Practical Parenting (one idea for each letter). The list is fun, and though I didn't fully embrace each and every idea I thoroughly enjoyed taking a peek into the Mira household to see how the principles of No
Ordinary Child are lived out in real life in that particular family.
One of my favorite concepts from No Ordinary Child is also the title of Chapter 13, "Don't say 'Peace' when God says 'War!" Mrs. Mira talks about making war on circumstances of our children's lives with which we aren't at peace.
Sometimes it is so easy to desire a peaceful home that we (okay, me!) let things slip in that we shouldn't - and those things begin to multiply and take over quite quickly. The answer is to meet those predators and sins right at the door, making war against them before they take up residence in our homes!
No Ordinary Child is a very convicting book. Denise Mira doesn't mince words. Some of her words will seem offensive- something Mrs. Mira is willing to admit. She suggests we recognize that sometimes God comes to us through "the door of offense." No
Ordinary Child seems to splash cold water on a generation of sleeping parents, but it does so with humor and insight reminding me of the old adage, "Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down." Although the book is corrective in tone, Mrs. Mira writes in such a way that we readers feel we are reading a letter from a friend or a peer, not being lectured by someone who has attained perfection.
No Ordinary Child is full of practical ideas on raising children, although it is not a how-to manual. In fact, Mrs. Mira explains that many parenting books (not this one) are "checklists of righteous acts" and by following these lists we only bring legalism into our homes by relying on our own ideas and strength. Her understanding of God being the one who gets the glory for godly children removes the pressure on parents to perform. Her desire for her own family and ours is for people to look at our children and say "These are a people the Lord has blessed," not "They have perfect parents." Throughout the book there is a constant undertone of God receiving all the glory for a renewal of righteousness within the Christian community.
Denise Mira has enjoyed homeschooling for 20 years, but this is not a homeschooling-only book. She favorably mentions homeschooling several times throughout the book and gives solid reasoning on how schools can become masters of our time and energy, but she never declares homeschooling as the only or best way to educate our children. I actually really appreciated this fact because I now have a "homeschooling-type" book that I would feel comfortable lending to godly-minded friends who are not homeschoolers (yet!).
If you are looking for a systematic theology of biblical child-rearing, this isn't the book for you. No
Ordinary Child is based upon biblical principles but is not a theological or verse-by-verse study. It is instead a startling book written for such a time as this. You won't even need to see eye-to-eye with Denise Mira on all aspects of theology to receive a spiritual kick-in-the-pants from this book. Parents living in this day and age need to hear the message of this book: Give up compromise; live a life of purpose for God; raise no ordinary generation. As we respond to this challenge, hearts will be convicted, lives will be changed, and we just may see a revolution occur. I pray it will be so.