You should read this book if you…

Want to raise children who are great in God’s eyes and not merely successful by the world’s standards.

“In a nut shell”…

Kimmel is writing to parents who believe in God and the truths found in the Bible and challenging them to raise children to have a life defined by true greatness: attitudes of humility and gratefulness, and actions of generosity and a servant attitude.

Key Ideas…

  • If we are aiming to raise successful children, we are aiming too low – we should aim for true greatness and to do this, we must teach children to be servants.
  • The pursuit of success as defined by the world (fame, power, wealth, beauty) will never allow our children to have the significant impact that God intends for them.
  • Grace is the basis of true greatness and we need to model this for our children
  • As parents we need to prepare our kids for true greatness by helping them answer three critical questions:
    • Who will be their master? (Who will I live for?
    • Who will they spend their lives with? (Who is my mate going to be?)
    • What will be their mission in life? (What am I going to do with my life?)
  • 5 qualities of a great mission
    • Be other oriented – clear focus o needs of others – make them feel loved and valued
    • Trustworthiness – maintain high standard of values, regardless of what everyone else is doing
    • Tenacity – don’t give up
    • Courage – follow through even if you are scared
    • Compassion – seeing people’s needs and doing everything you can to help them out

Action Steps…

  • Model for my children what authentic faith in God and true concern for others looks like.
  • Teach them to give back to life much more than they take.
  • Help your children to think abundantly – all good things in life are unlimited – this causes kids to focus outward and towards helping others to live for greatness
  • When answering the first question, keep in mind that everyone lives for someone or something, so it is our choice if we are going to let God be in charge of our life or let the world system be in charge
  • For the second question, keep in mind that the best thing you can do to help them choose the best mate for them is to surround their childhood with grace and help them to develop into the kind of person they would want to marry.
  • For the third question, we need to encourage our kids to know how to make a great life, not just how to make a good salary.


  • “Isn’t it ironic that as a nation we worship those who are successful, but when tragedy strikes, our survival depends on those that are great.” Pg 12
  • “If you aim your children at anything less than greatness, you’ll set them up to miss the whole point of their lives. But, if you instill in them this higher calling (greatness)…you’ll do something that will guarantee that their reason for existing will outlive you.” Pg 14
  • “When we don’t need all that the earth has to offer, it becomes far more pleasing to live here”. Pg 57
  • “God has not called us to raise safe kids; He has called us to raise strong ones.” Pg 72
  • “God wants our children’s lives to be an utterly amazing story – sustained with a secure love, driven by a significant purpose, and supported by a strong hope.” Pg 117
  • “The key to making this decision (who to marry) well is not so much in finding the right person who can complete us, but in becoming the kind of person who automatically makes the one we marry much more valuable.” Pg 137
  • “Character glows in the dark. It is not hard to notice it” Pg 181

Statistics and Interesting Facts…

This book has a “Ten Ways…” list at the end of each chapter that I love!  They give practical tips in several areas. One area is, Ten Ways to Be a Great Member of the Family:

  • Everybody helps everybody…always, in whatever ways are needed
  • Be upbeat, positive, and encouraging
  • Remember, “please” and “thank you” are not just good manners; they’re the calling cards of a grateful heart
  • Have a lot of fun, just not at the expense of anyone else
  • Each week, do your best to eat as many meals as possible together as a family. You’ll cut the chance of your kids using tobacco and drugs in half and double the chances they’ll bring home A’s on their report cards!
  • Respect one another’s space and stuff. Ask, and it most likely will be given unto you
  • Guard family traditions, and do your best to celebrate all birthdays, holidays, and major milestones
  • Guard the morals and integrity of everyone around you. Be sensitive about how you communicate, what you view, and whom you bring into the family circle
  • Be quick to rally around a family member who is down, whether it’s a result of sickness, injury, failure, rejection, or discouragement
  • Assume that the Lord Jesus is an ex officio participant in every detail of your family. Make sure He always feels at home and comfortable with what’s going on

How this has changed my parenting…

It has readjusted my focus. We live in such a competitive society, and we feel/expect our kids to do well and be successful. This has helped to take my focus off comparison and helped me define what I want more than anything for my children—for them to be great in God’s eyes!

Book Information:
Book Title | Raising Kids for True Greatness
Author | Tim Kimmel
Year of Publication | 2006
Publisher | W Publishing Group
Pages | 220
Author’s Website |

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