Skip to content

Parenting for a Better World: Social Justice Practices for Your Family and the Planet

SKU 9780827231863

edited by Susanna Snyder and Ellen Ott Marshall

Read a sample

Living faithfully isn’t only about attending church. Being Christian is about living in right, just relationships with other people and the rest of creation. How can Christian parents avoid being overcome with the pressure to be a perfect parent and make a difference in the world?

Parenting for a Better World shows there are all sorts of ways we can make a real difference from within our own homes. Even busy parents can work with their families for global justice. Without pressing you to do it all, this book offers spiritual resources for reflecting on the relationship between your faith, your calling for justice, and your commitment to parenting. Find encouragement from fellow parents who weave together stories of caregiving, activism, and scripture that affirm your sense of calling. Plus it offers practical strategies to help committed (and over-committed) people integrate caregiving and justice work into their daily lives.

Parenting for a Better World is made possible in part by a gift from Mike and Laura Hatler. 


"Confronted with the perils of climate change, racial trauma, and political divisiveness, conversations with our children may ground to a halt with “What if” questions.  Parenting for a Better World details creative practices of what can be done when children and their loved ones integrate faith and justice in pursuit of global change." — Gregory C. Ellison II, Ph.D., Professor Emory University’s Candler School of Theology and Founder of Fearless Dialogues, Inc.

“This book is a map to the world I want to live in. With richness of thought and intensely practical suggestions, these authors meet the overwhelm of the current epoch with spiritual practices to experience delight, hope, and joy through cultivating values like kindness, justice, and ecological care in the lives of children. These ingredients for the world we want to inhabit do not come about by accident. If you’re in need of inspiration and support to soulfully nurture the children in your life, allow this cadre of authors to become your companionship circle on the journey. They understand that the private and personal is always political. What we do in our homes affects how we engage in the public square. How we shape the lives of children, shapes the whole world. You do not need to have kids of your own to appreciate the beauty and brilliance of this book. It a gift to all who care about children and the world. Adults will find this book equally enriching for our own spiritual lives! I can’t recommend it highly enough.”—Cody J. Sanders, American Baptist Chaplain to Harvard University and author of A Brief Guide to Ministry with LGBTQIA Youth 

"What a lovely, fantastic, deeply moving book! It speaks to a real need among people of faith: how to tackle the seemingly opposing and impossible tasks of parenting well and working toward justice. Overflowing with concrete, practical, constructive suggestions and beautifully and accessibly written, this is a book you’ll want to pass on to family, friends, and congregation."— Dr. Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore, Professor, The Divinity School and Graduate Department of Religion, Vanderbilt University and author of In the Midst of Chaos: Care of Children as Spiritual Practice 

“A deep well of creative resources for sharing faith and hope for a better world with our children. The diverse set of contributors from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, from Canada, the UK and the US, all bring a unifying vision of possibility: we can help our children build a better world—and be transformed in the process. Practical take-home activities end each chapter, and wisdom from parents of grown children joins the voices of new parents to help readers imagine faithful ways of parenting for a more just world. A blessing to read!”— Carolyn Helsel, Ph.D., author of Anxious to Talk about It: Helping White People Talk Faithfully about Racism. 

“Through all my high-minded preaching, teaching, and writing on social justice and environmental care, it's been the raising of two daughters that has challenged me most acutely with the question: can I actually live this stuff out? Balancing budget, ethics and time are all hard, let alone your children's desire to fit in with their peers, with all the demands that brings. Parenting for a Better World welcomes you into a community of parents also wrestling with those challenges. You'll sympathise, learn, laugh, maybe cry, and definitely be inspired and motivated to do family life together in a way that takes care of God's wonderful world.”— Dr Ruth Valerio, author of Planet Protectors: 52 Ways to Look After God's World and Global Advocacy and Influencing Director at Tearfund.

“This book addresses difficult questions that parents often face. Do I preserve childhood innocence or expose children to realities of suffering and injustice? How can parents and children, who are already burdened with hectic schedules, be responsive to the plight of others locally and worldwide? Each chapter inspires readers to envision and enact opportunities for transformative parenting.”—Luther E. Smith, Jr., PhD, Professor Emeritus of Church and Community, Emory University