Saturday, February 23, 2013

Family Bookshelf: Parenting by God's Promises by Dr. Joel Beeke

There are countless systems for sale today that all aim to help parents raise their children to be productive members of society.  They teach everything from spanking verses timeout, punishment and reward systems, and numerous psychological approaches.  For any parent worth their salt there may be no greater fear than the fear of failure in raising your children.

That fear is amplified for Christian parents because we not only want our children to succeed in life but we also want to see them grow up to become men and women who love the Lord and lead their families to Christ as well.   The failure of most of what is found in parenting methods being sold today, inside and outside of Christendom, is that it seeks to address behavioral change as the desired goal of successful parenting.  But should that be the goal?  Dr. Beeke does not believe so and neither do I.

Rather than just working to change behavior (which can easily produce legalism in our children) we should instead be seeking to get to the heart of the behavior.  Change the heart of the child and the behavior will change as well.

In "Parenting by God's Promises" Dr. Beeke challeneges parents to adopt a method of parenting that is not new or trendy, rather it is the tried and true Biblical method of raising them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord and trusting God's faithfulness with the results.

For example, instead of being so focused on worrying about who our children marry, let's be equally concerned with teaching them to be "excellent spouses" and model for them what it means and looks like to be a faithful spouse.  Or rather than simply being angry over some infraction, let's sit them down and show them from Scripture why that decision they made was a poor one, a sinful one, and why God's ways are best.  Then, let's not hand out a retributive punishment, but a loving correction that serves to remind them of the lesson they've been taught about the Gospel and trusting God.  ((Yes that loving correction can include a properly administered spanking, not a beating out of anger.))

Further, we needn't try and coerce a decision for Christ out of them at the earliest possible age, but rather lead them to Christ and trust the God who saves to save them as He has saved us and countless others throughout the ages!  Let's teach our children about the God of grace who has so graciously offered up His own Son so that their sins could be forgiven in Him.

I highly recommend this book to any parent who is concerned with raising their child according to Biblical principles.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Reformation Trust Publishing through their Blog for a Free Book Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." 

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