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Gospel-Powered Parenting [Paperback]

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Item Description...
A parent's capacity to internalize the gospel, with all its implications, has an enormous effect on their marriage, their integrity, and their love for their children. 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 children's world, and causes them to preach the beauty of the gospel to their children through their marriage.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   233
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.48" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.58"
Weight:   0.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2009
Publisher   P&r Publishing
ISBN  1596381353  
EAN  9781596381353  

Availability  5 units.
Availability accurate as of Jan 16, 2018 08:26.
Usually ships within one to two business days from New Kensington, PA.
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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Parenting & Families > Family Relationships > General   [2072  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living   [0  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
My Favorite Book About Parenting  May 22, 2010
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.
Awesome book  Apr 27, 2010
What an amazingly balanced book--parental role of authority (so rare in culture today) and grace, grace, grace. I love this book!!!
Good Parenting Starts With Good Theology  Feb 23, 2010
In Gospel-Powered Parenting, William P. Farley says that parenting must start with good theology. In light of that conviction, it's not surprising that he spends the first five chapters discussing the gospel, the fear of God, God's holiness, and God's grace. Instead of quotes from parenting experts and psychologists, readers will find theologians--John Frame, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, R.C. Sproul--quoted throughout the book. This focus immediately sets the book apart.

After laying the theological groundwork, Farley spends the next six chapters on practical application. The topics are the importance of a strong marriage, the importance of the father's involvement, discipline, teaching in the home, and love and affection.

Farley says that the first principle of parenting is developing a strong marriage. Many parents put great effort into raising their children, yet they neglect the health of the marriage. This is a mistake:

"Marriage centered, not child-centered, moms usually exert the greatest influence on their children for Christ and the kingdom. This means that your weekends away with your husband, alone, might influence your children more than all your teaching and disciplining combined."

Although mothers are more likely to read parenting books, Farley says that it is the fathers who need to read them. Study after study shows that fathers have the greatest influence over their children. It is no coincidence that the few verses in the Bible related to parenting are addressed to the fathers. It's unfortunate that fathers too often leave the bulk of the responsibility with their wife.

Regarding discipline, Farley's approach is much like what you find in Tedd Tripp's Shepherding a Child's Heart. Consistent discipline, including corporal punishment, is essential. "The world says, `Corporal punishment is child abuse.' But the Bible answers, `Failure to discipline is child abuse.'" All discipline must be done in love and with an eye on the ultimate goal: changing the child's heart:

"The heart is the target. The goal is not just morality. It is new birth. We do not get new birth by being moral; rather, new birth produces biblical morality. Therefore, wise parents aim their discipline at the heart. Fundamentally, Christian parents discipline heart attitudes, not behaviors."

I'm not comfortable with the emphasis placed on spanking. I do believe that spanking is necessary and effective sometimes, but not all of the time, nor with all children. In chapter 9, "Discipline that Preaches," Farley tells of a time when he spanked his son for pouting (page 165). And he gives other examples that I'm not comfortable with. While I agree with the main points of the chapters on discipline, I'm not sure to what extent they should be applied. Spanking, I believe, should be used in moderation.

The last emphasis I'll mention is that on teaching in the home. Many Christian parents leave this to the Christian schools and Sunday schools. And they assume that their children know and understand the gospel. But parents must teach and re-teach the gospel in the home, and they must apply it to every aspect of daily life. Not only should there be informal teaching, but times of formal teaching are essential. Parents can't do too much:

"Children don't reject our faith because of too much formal Bible teaching. They reject it because we don't practice it. They reject it because we practice it but do not value it enough to teach it to them....But too much knowledge is not the problem. A lack of knowledge usually is the problem."

Gospel-Powered Parenting is a good and Biblical book. The principles are based upon a theologically sound view of the gospel. I recommend it to parents, grandparents, and teachers.

Yes, but.....  Jan 21, 2010
Parenting is hard. It is a mixture of joy, laughter, tears, sadness, disappointment (with self and with your children), struggles, rewards, satisfaction, fear, worry, contentment, thanksgiving and a hundred other adjectives.

Parenting books and especially Christian parenting books are plentiful - all with advice, plans, schedules and more advice on how to parent `successfully'.

This is an interesting addition to the `Parenting' library.

Farley's main point is that there is little direct biblical instruction on parenting. And the reason for this is that the Gospel is (or at least should be) the tutorial that informs our parenting.

Farley begins with five assumptions which parents must hold - and then he unpacks these five assumptions throughout the book. The five are:

1. effective Christian parents assume that parenting will not be easy but that rewards will ultimately make it worth while
2. effective Christian parents are willing to hold God's sovereignty and their responsibility in tension
3. effective Christian parents assume an offensive mindset. They pursue their child's heart - they do everything possible to make the gospel attractive. The gospel is the focus and goal for the parent NOT protecting their children from worldly influence
4. effective Christian parents are shrewd about new birth. They do not assume it. They understand the nature of new birth and they carefully look for its symptoms.
5. Effective Christian parents labor to focus their families on God not their children.

There is much in this book which is not politically correct in our society today. For example he advocates the use of corporal discipline (spanking). And, he says, a spanking SHOULD hurt the child. However, once the child is spanked, you should hold them. Much of modern society and many in the Christian church would disagree with that.

Also, I found the chapter on `Gospel Fathers', which expresses his view of headship, unbalanced. I do not think he portrayed a biblical or balanced view on headship and that was frustrating. In fact, the way he wrote the chapter suggested to me he really does not understand biblical headship. Rather than coming across as someone who advocates Biblical headship (which I advocate) he simply came across as a male chauvinist. Biblical headship has two sides of the coin - a wife IS to submit to her husband - but the husband is to love his wife AS CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH. Farley never mentions this side of headship in the book - the dying of the husband for his wife - he only mentions the wife submitting to the husband and when you present only ONE side of biblical headship it comes across as male domination.

Farley's main premise; that the Gospel should shape and be at the center of our parenting is of course right. Not necessarily because it is THE right parenting model - but because as Christians the Gospel SHOULD shape EVERY aspect of our lives. So on one level this book should be redundant. Of course we should be parenting from a foundation of the gospel. The fact that there is a need for this book shows just how far the gospel can be from being the center of everything we do. The next book could be "Gospel Powered Employee", then the "Gospel Powered Employer" or "Gospel Powered School Teacher" etc.

Another thing this book (and other parenting books) do not develop (although I guess its partially covered under #2 of his assumptions) is what happens when you follow ALL of this and still your child does not respond. The mantra is too often "My child was rebellious but now they are a perfect son / daughter." Perhaps we need a book which is written by a godly parent who parented in a gospel powered fashion, and it did not work - that the child rebelled and continued to rebel. For the danger of these type of books is they can subconsciously suggest that if you follow this path your child WILL be fine. Sometimes children are not fine. And many a good parent loses their child to a life of rebellion through no fault of the parent, but because we are steeped in sin and sometimes people do not respond to the gospel. And that is hard.

Having said all that - I would still encourage parents to read this book. There is much to be gleaned from its pages.
Best Parenting Book Ever?  Jan 18, 2010
I have read many books on parenting and this is perhaps one of the best ever. As a father of three I always want to strive to be the best parent possible. I agree wholeheartedly that working on our marriage is key and crucial. Additionally, I think authentically living out the Christian faith

As a youth pastor I disagree with his statement that it doesn't matter where or how your kids are educated as long as the kids are being discipled at home. I would have loved to have seen evidence for this rather than a few anecdotal stories about kids that bucked the trend.

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