How the Gospel Shapes and Transforms Parenting
“How can I hope to be an effective parent today, when attacks on the family are stronger than ever before?”
The answer, says Farley, is the gospel.
Parents who claim the gospel as their own have an enormous affect on their marriage, their integrity, and their love for their children. Internalizing the gospel helps parents fear God, sensitizes them to sin, motivates them to enter their children’s world, and causes them to preach the beauty of the gospel to their children through their marriage.
My Favorite Book About Parenting
This was a book I purchased several months ago that I thought my wife and I would benefit from and enjoy. Initially I misunderstood a couple of Farley's statements in his introduction. They sounded as if the spiritual depth and sincerity of parents, particularly that of fathers, determined whether children became vibrant Christians or people who lacked faith. I got the impression that if you just followed Pastor Farley's parenting methods, all would be good with your kids. However, this is not want Pastor Farley is saying at all. He clearly states that it is God who opens our eyes. Farley is merely stating that parents who keep the gospel message of Jesus Christ at the center of their lives have the answer to all parenting situations. We must proclaim this message to our children at all times.
Gospel-Powered Parenting was not what I expected. I thought I was purchasing a how-to book that would give me lots of practical advice, but what I received was much better - a 230 page book with not only lots of practical advice, but a theology book on parenting. Like the Book of Ephesians, the first half of Gospel-Powered Parenting is more doctrinal and the second half is more practical. We must first have a clear understanding of who God is, who we are and what our roles are as parents, before we can be effective fathers and mothers. This is what the book provides, not worldly counseling, but the gospel of grace and truth.
Gospel-Powered Parenting is written from a conservative perspective grounded on the Word of God so if you are not a Christian or you possess some liberal views, you will probably not like this book. If you believe spanking children is child abuse, that submission is a curse word, that babies are little angels who do not sin, and that we are all going to Heaven, this book might flat out bother you. Be that as it may, I would still highly recommend that you read Farley's book. Pastor Farley is a humble man who admits that he is far from perfect. I really appreciated his openness and his focus on fatherhood. Although I do not agree with everything I read in Gospel-Powered Parenting, I feel it is the best book I have ever read on building the right kind of families. I highly recommend it.