Harriet Connor

Author of Big Picture Parents

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Here’s what people are saying about Big Picture Parents:

“I generally dislike parenting books as a genre – they usually leave me with the feeling that if I don’t implement their particular technique, I will break my kid.  Not so with this book. Big Picture Parents lifted my eyes to the big story of God and how he is at work in the world.  My story and that of my little family are enfolded in something much bigger.  That is the rock on which I can anchor my parenting.  I just ordered another 5 copies to give to friends.”

–Kylie

“I found the book most helpful and timely.  Having a big picture of parenting is essential, especially in this day of social media where conflicting and contrary voices compete so personally and pervasively.  As a parent – and I imagine especially a young parent – one can become so confused about so many things that challenge, degrade and obscure the big picture.
So far I think I have ordered four copies – with more to come!”

–Robyn Buchanan

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‘Big Picture Parents’ Shortlisted

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I am excited to announce that my book, Big Picture Parents: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Life, has been shortlisted for the 2017 Australian Christian Book of the Year Award. Winners will be announced on August 17th.

You can see the full shortlist here.

My book offers modern parents the opportunity to step back from all the parenting “shoulds and shouldn’ts” and reflect on the bigger questions of what being a parent is all about.

Read more about the book here.

Marriage and Parenting outside Eden—The Story of Jacob

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The account of Jacob and his family occupies almost half of the book of Genesis. It’s a captivating story about how God’s holy, eternal promises have coursed through the veins of very weak and finite human beings; it’s about how God can work through the mess and grime of family life to achieve his glorious purposes.

And God knows that I need to hear that story today. My family life seems weak—often it feels like we’re just skating on the thin ice of civility, with chaos lying in wait just under the surface.

How could God possibly be at work in this very human family?

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What does the Bible say about discipline?

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There’s no quicker way to ignite an emotional debate than to raise the issue of discipline. At one end of the spectrum are those who say, “The problem with today’s children is that they aren’t disciplined enough—our generation was smacked and it taught us to be respectful.” At the other end of the spectrum are those who warn about how discipline can be abused and result in negative consequences for children.

So, what does the Bible say? How can Christians chart a course through the murky waters of the discipline debate?

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Review of ‘Big Picture Parents’ on Growing Faith

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“Rather than write another book of ‘rules for parenting’, Harriet Connor has taken a step back to look at the bigger picture. This is far more than just another voice in the multitude with yet another program for bringing up balanced or happy kids. No. This is something better.”

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Review of ‘Big Picture Parents’ on Thinking of God

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“This is a wonderful resource that I wished I had when I was starting out my parenting journey and it is a book I am definitely buying for my younger sister and her husband who are about to begin theirs. Whether you are a seasoned parent, a single wanting to support those in your church family or a soon-to-be parent, I would highly recommend this book for a Biblical, big-picture approach to parenting.”

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Introducing ‘Big Picture Parents: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Life’

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Have you ever felt overwhelmed by feelings of guilt, fear, and confusion as a parent? I certainly have. That’s why, five years ago, I started out on a personal quest to discover what the wisdom of my ancestors – the Bible – had to say to parents like me. I went looking for little pieces of grandmotherly advice, but what I found was something much greater. As I read the Bible, I realised that what modern parents need most is not more advice, but a “big picture” – a framework for making sense of both life and parenthood.

I invite you to join me in stepping back from all the “shoulds and shouldn’ts” of modern parenting to consider the bigger questions.

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Three Reasons Not to Blog

I started this website so that you can find out more about my new book, Big Picture Parents: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Life.

But there are few reasons why I am a very reluctant blogger:

1. I am not a parenting guru

I am a normal, human parent. I am often overwhelmed with fear, guilt, and confusion about my role. To my shame, I regularly yell at my kids and snap at my husband. I feel like my life – my house, my marriage, my kids, my heart – is too messy for social media.

But one of my key messages to modern parents is that we need to accept our human limitations – we are not perfect and we are not ultimately in control. All we can ever hope to be is “good enough”. In my book, I show how we can find freedom from the guilt and fear we experience as humans and as parents.

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Book Review: The Heart of Marriage

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The Heart of Marriage: Loving Your Spouse with a Christian Mind

by Michael Hill, Aquila Press, Sydney, 2013.

It’s hard to stand firm as a Christian parent in the modern world; often we find ourselves being swept along by the sea of advice that swirls around us, and we lose touch with God’s vision for family life. A few years ago, I found myself being carried along by the idea that you should put your children first in everything. Every aspect of my daily life had begun to revolve entirely around our young sons; anything else was pushed to the periphery . . . including my husband.

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What does Proverbs say about motherhood?

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Whenever I sit down to read Proverbs, a giant shadow falls across the page and darkens my view. It’s her – the “wife of noble character” from chapter 31. You know the one? She’s the biblical version of that “picture perfect” mother from your social media feed. Glowing with godliness, she is in equal parts my inspiration and my condemnation.

But if we really want to hear what the whole book of Proverbs has to say about mothers, we’ll have to step out from under her shadow for a moment and keep reading.

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