A Memoir of a Family's Love, a Life Lost, and Heaven's Promises
Howard Books, Hardcover, 9781451678512, 234pp.
Publication Date: March 5, 2013
HOPE and COMPASSION for FAMILIES
Beautiful Nate offers valuable insights into what went wrong in a dedicated Christian family and how things might have gone differently—giving parents direction for raising their own children in a troubled world. Exploring the differences between fear-based parenting, child-centered parenting, and healthy intentional parenting, author Dennis Mansfield shares hard-earned wisdom and powerful ideas on what children need. Whether you’re in the midst of parenting small children or have experienced the heartbreak of a child gone astray, you’ll find guidance and hope for your journey in this poignant, real-life story.
Even when you follow all the rules, LIFE CAN GO VERY WRONG. . .
Dennis Mansfield and his wife Susan planned for and expected every parent’s dream but instead lived every parent’s nightmare. This haunting memoir tells the story of a father who diligently followed all the parenting rules that he learned from conservative Christian “experts”; yet life with his son Nate went terribly wrong when the young man died at twenty-seven of drug-related causes. It wasn’t that the principles Dennis followed were faulty; it was that the promised guarantee turned out to be void.
The author, a national leader in the pro-family movement of the 1990s, reveals what did and did not work in raising a child within the evangelical framework. But rather than losing his faith and abandoning the God he’d trusted, Dennis eventually found new joy and purpose—with a more compassionate and realistic view of the roles parents play and the rules they follow.
As you read this sobering yet refreshing account, you will find direction for your own parenting style and encouragement after life’s disappointments. Whether you are in the midst of parenting small children or have experienced the heartbreak of a child gone astray, you’ll find guidance and hope for your journey in this poignant, real-life story.
“I’ve known Dennis for a long time and as a father I’m eager to read and learn what he has learned through such sorrow.”
-John Eldredge, bestselling author of Wild at Heart
“Dennis Mansfield tells a poignant heart-rending story of a Christian family where everything was supposed to turn out alright, but didn’t. Dennis’s honest soul-searching narrative serves to challenge some of the unrealistic expectations and false promises of formula-driven performance Christianity. Yet there remains a hopeful note throughout—a redemptive God whose story is not done.”
-Randy Alcorn, bestselling author of Heaven
“An experience with addiction close to home: it’s lonely, scary, and can drive a family apart…unless God comes into this equation. This book will educate you on the real life of addiction and the impact on a family and how God can heal what seems permanently shattered.”
-Pastor Tim D Remington, Altar Church CDA, ID, Director of Good Samaritan Rehabilitation
“Beautiful Nate is not a parenting book, but it will help you be a better parent. It is not a self-help book, but it will be helpful to you. It is not a theological treatise, but will help you wrestle with who God is. You will find yourself laughing at times, pondering often, and feeling tears as you live through life’s most cruel twists with Dennis and Susan. You will also see how God is meeting them, and in the process, I believe, you will meet God as well.”
-Drs. Paul and Virginia Friesen, Founders of Home Improvement Ministries
“Through Beautiful Nate, Dennis Mansfield’s very vulnerable faith journey, he teaches each of us this profoundly simple truth: soul-deep pain can be a great teacher forcing us to keep focused on our family and even more importantly, on our Lord.”
-Bobb Biehl, Executive Mentor, Author
“Although Dennis Mansfield’s book Beautiful Nate tells the heart-rending narrative of a parent’s unrelenting love for his son who struggled with addiction, it does not deliver a message of despair, but rather one of authentic thanksgiving. This book conveys a gut-level honesty that though Christian in principle remains very non-religious. It is an encouragement for all that we would not accept rejection based on the behavior of a person – but instead to love and give thanks for the glimpses God provides which illuminate the depth of who they truly are.”
-Tri Robinson, Author and Senior Pastor, Vineyard Boise, Idaho
“In Beautiful Nate, author Dennis Mansfield is painfully, brutally honest—about the life and death of his son, Nate, about grief and loss and failure—and still manages, convincingly, to point the reader to joy, hope, and fulfillment. It is about triumphing over grief and shedding crippling guilt. It is more than just a powerfully written book of remembrance and confession. Beautiful Nate is an affirmation of the faithfulness of Jesus.”
-Bodie and Brock Thoene, authors of ICON
“Nate was a beautiful young man, but like others his age he made some mistakes. In our precious times together, I was able to see Nate’s heart and understand his confusion. I grieve Nate’s untimely loss and believe the journey in this book will touch you—and bring hope to circumstances that are not often understandable.”
-Melody Green, widow of recording artist Keith Green
“This story of two men, father and son, and their unfinished journeys, is a Pearl bought at great price. It is a powerful book that looks at real life against the backdrop of a Christianity often painted in unrealistic colors. Regardless of your deep loss or disappointment, this book will leave you with renewed hope in our Savior’s relentless pursuit.”
-David Ripley, Political Consultant, Pollster, and founder of Idaho Chooses Life
“Nate’s story, as told by his father, will captivate the reader and help change the lives of many as they read how this loving family is working its way through the most difficult challenge that any family can face—the loss of a child.”
-Skip Hall, Former Boise State Head Football Coach