Never Mind the Joneses: Taking the Fear Out of Parenting, By Tim Stafford

Never Mind the Joneses

Taking the Fear Out of Parenting

by Tim Stafford

Never Mind the Joneses
  • Length: 216 pages
  • Published: January 16, 2006
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 3349
  • ISBN: 9780830833498

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Messages from the media and pressures from peers all seem to conspire against raising children with strong Christian values. As kids grow older the potential for things to go wrong just seems to multiply.

How can parents nurture their families with confidence, without the fear that they are making some big mistake? Tim Stafford sets you free from worrying about the Joneses or anyone else. He shows you how to build core Christian values into your children in a way that fits who God made your family to be, unique and different from every other family.

In this practical and freeing book, you'll find:

  • Why your family doesn't have to be like other families
  • How to build core values into your children that will last a lifetime
  • How you can find the patterns that fit who you and your family are
  • Ways to build family life that kids enjoy and that parents find satisfying
  • Why there's more than one, good, right way to be a family
  • How to build grace and freedom into your family life while still providing structure and security
  • Release from the fear that you are parenting the wrong way

Stafford identifies thirteen core biblical values and describes a wide variety of ways to build these into families. He explores the many options that are available for parents to help their children develop in truthfulness, contentment, hard work, joy, rest, forgiveness and putting God first.

Some books suggest there is only one right way to parent, no matter who you are. In Never Mind the Joneses Stafford frees you to explore the ways God has provided that fit your family best.

"Here's a book that takes the pressure off the 'one size fits all' syndrome that characterizes many family-life efforts. Tim's exploration of family culture and his grace-filled approach will greatly encourage parents as they negotiate the difficult maze of parenting!"

Ken and Mari Harrower, Mount Hermon Conference Center, Mount Hermon, California

"Never Mind the Joneses by Tim Stafford is an excellent resource for reflection and direction on encouraging children's spiritual growth and Christian character formation in families. Tim Stafford winsomely and gracefully helps parents understand how they can teach core biblical values to our children in word and deed, so that these values are both taught and caught. Bravo!"

Stanton L. Jones, author of the God's Design for Sex family sex education book series

"Having children and raising a family rank high among the most complex and difficult tasks we will ever face. It can be lonely work, and companions are mighty useful along the way. My companion of choice, hands down, is Tim Stafford and his Never Mind the Joneses. Thoughtful, feet-on-the-ground practical, prayerful, wise, and--best of all--Christian."

Eugene H. Peterson, Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, B.C.

"Tim Stafford, one of the most gifted Christian writers, has given us an excellent resource for imparting to our children Christian principles and habits through daily living. This comes at a critical moment when the family is under assault as never before. Tim Stafford's book will help Christians be the model we need to be in today's culture."

Charles W. Colson, Prison Fellowship Ministries, Washington, D.C.

"Building strong families? Core biblical values? This stuff matters! I'm excited about the way Never Mind the Joneses helps parents make it happen."

Dave Dravecky, former San Francisco Giants pitcher

"Stafford's wise and sensible book helps parents preserve core values while developing their family's individuality. Neither a troubleshooting manual nor a how-to handbook, it is a thoughtful exploration of what makes a family strong and good."

LaVonne Neff, author, One of a Kind

"Christian parents consistently tell me that they have the same nightmare: they will fail to inculcate core Christian values in their children. Treading deep water in the morass of modern day social confusion, parents need a sensible, practical guide to steer their children to a godly shore. I believe that Tim Stafford has provided such a guide in Never Mind the Joneses. Circumnavigating the perils of a fundamentalist rigidity, it plots a course for the reader that is sensitive to the challenges of modern parenting, psychologically sound and biblically precise. I can strongly recommend it, not only for its insightful help but also for its ease of reading."

Archibald D. Hart, Ph.D., FPPR, Senior Professor of Psychology and Dean Emeritus, Graduate School of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Want to build a family culture with God at the heart of it? With deep conviction (but no hint of condescension) Tim Stafford offers creative, workable advice coupled with flexibility and humor. I'd have valued this book immensely when my own family was young!"

Luci Shaw, mother of five, Writer in Residence, Regent College

"The most practical book on parent and family issues that I've ever read."

Philip Yancey

"Never Mind the Joneses is the most important book about this topic since James Dobson's Dare to Discipline. . . . It's a book that can and should be read by everyone from young couples just starting out to those who find themselves in the whirlwind of jobs, children, violin lessons, workout routines, dinner invitation exchanges and never any time to be alone. I promise you that if mom and dad read this book together (or even just one of you, or the one of you who may be a single parent), Never Mind the Joneses will make a tremendous difference in your family, and you and your children will have that much more positive impact on the world."

Harold Fickett, author of The Holy Fool and The Living Christ


1. Family Culture: There Is Nobody Like You
2. Core Values: How to Shape Your Family Culture
3. God First: At the Center of Your Family
4. Concern for Others: Reaching Out to the Unlovely
5. Hard Work: Encouraging Willing Workers
6. Truthfulness: Learning to Speak the Whole Truth
7. Family Unity and Love: Holding Together in a Splitting World
8. Sexual Fidelity: Seeing Sex God's Way
9. Generosity: God's Irrational Exuberance
10. Submission: Fitting Into the Universe
11. Boundaries: Developing a Sense of Self
12. Joy and Thanksgiving: Learning a Happy Heart
13. Rest: Working Like God
14. Care for Creation: The First Commandment in the Bible
15. Contentment: Finding Peace with What You Have
16. Grace: The Value that Saves Core Values
A Few Final Words


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Tim Stafford

Tim Stafford is a senior writer for Christianity Today. Among his many books are Knowing the Face of God, As Our Years Increase, The Student Bible (with Philip Yancey), a trilogy of historical fiction (The Stamp of Glory, Sisters, The Law of Love),Never Mind the Joneses, and Love, Sex and the Whole Person. He and his wife, Popie, live in Santa Rosa, California.