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Gospel-Powered Parenting: How the Gospel Shapes and Transforms Parenting

By William P. Farley
August 2010 | Review by Graham Heaps

Synopsis

This book will help parents see the importance of this principle. Internalizing the gospel helps parents fear God, sensitizes them to sin, motivates them to enter their childrens world, and causes them to preach the beauty of the gospel to their children through their marriage.

  • Publisher: Presbyterian and Reformed
  • ISBN: 978-1596381353
  • Pages: 240
  • Price: £6.14
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Book Review

I well remember my reaction to receiving this book for review. Breaking open the packet, I muttered, ‘Not another book on parenting!’ Whether review editors think that having brought up five children makes one an expert on parenting, I don’t know. Worse still is the fear that anyone could attribute the eventual conversion of our children to some special talent in child-rearing. In truth, only mysterious, mind-blowing grace can account for such a wonder.

Generally, reviewing such books is a painful task, for they expose one’s shortcomings as a dad, and usually disappoint with their failure to face adequately the radical sinfulness of children and their paramount need for the new birth. Accordingly, I passed on the book to my wife to read, hoping she would review it instead!

However, Sue read it with growing enthusiasm and then returned it — nervously offering to her opinionated husband the assessment that it is a wonderfully helpful book. And how right she is, as ever!

This is quite simply the finest book I have ever read on parenting. It gives hope as well as direction, focusing all the time on the gospel, which both Christian parents and their children urgently need. It strengthens despairing parents by conveying the conviction that if we put God first in our child-rearing, and live honest, gospel-dependent lives, we can look to him for results in the lives of our youngsters.

There is real practical wisdom here, the undiluted wisdom of God’s Word. It presses the importance of a vivid understanding of the gospel, and the need for a life of godliness and prayer; of loving God above our children; of the key place of the father’s in bringing up children; of gospel-centred and physical discipline; and of humility, honesty and affection with our youngsters.

True, one could have small quibbles about things the book says, but overall it is magnificent, and worthy of the widest readership.

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