Tolle Lege: Gospel-Powered Parenting

Readability: 1

Length: 220 pgs

Author: William P. Farley

Gospel-Powered Parenting opens by noting that according to George Barna seventy-five thousand books have been written on parenting just within the last ten years.  Given that statistic why should you buy this one?  Because it is thoroughly gospel-centric.  Because, in the author’s own words,

The emphasis of this book differs from that of many other Christian books on parenting.  Most emphasize techniques.  By contrast, Gospel-Powered Parenting will emphasize the parents’ relationship with God, with each other, and with their children, in that order.  The emphasis of this book is that parenting is not primarily about doing the right things.  It is about having a right relationship with God – a relationship informed by the gospel.

Do you still need a couple more reasons?  Ok, Farley focuses on the new birth rather than morality and he focuses on the father as the lead parent.  In addition Tim Challies says it may be the best book on parenting he has read.  I have not read nearly enough books on parenting in order for my “Amen!” to add any weight to Challies endorsement, nevertheless, this is the best book on parenting I have read, so far.

We parent out our theology.

Understanding the gospel and its implications for disciplining our children fortified Judy and me through these trials.  It helped in several ways:

  • The gospel convinced us that indwelling sin was our children’s problem.
  • The gospel convinced us that authority is a crucial parental issue.
  • The gospel instructed us to pursue our children’s hearts rather than their behavior.
  • The gospel motivated us to use discipline to preach the gospel to our children.
  • The gospel motivated us to fear God.
  • The gospel helped Judy and me to grow in humility and sincerity.

The fear of God equips parents to overcome the fear of their children.  They can disappoint their children, but they dare not disappoint God.

[Reflecting on 1 Timothy 5:8] If Paul writes so stridently about the failure to provide material food, which nourishes our bodies for only a few short years, what would he say to the father who fails to put the Bread of Life before his children?

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