Book Review: Parenting By God’s Promises – Joel Beeke

This book points parents to, as the title suggests, all of God’s promises, not onlyfor us parents but also for our children. The first five chapters explained theReformed view of raising children, while also setting a firm foundation ofparenting on which to build. In a very straightforward way Joel Beeke presentsto us a step by step method of bringing our children to Christ and how they cantreasure what we as parents are teaching them. One of the things I learned fromthe first five chapters is that we must, “bring our children to Christ at everyage”. It’s important for me, as the father of a beautiful girl and soon a son,to know that at every level of learning I must present my children with Godlyprinciples that are at the learning level of my children. I am overjoyed whenmy daughter sings “Jesus loves me”, but I know that I must continue to wrestlefor her heart with things rooted more deeply in God.
In thenext section Joel continues to lay out our responsibilities as parents andmodels to our children. Of this section I found the following quote to be mostuseful. “Proclaiming theWord of the Lord is not a cold, emotionless task, but a passionate,irresistible calling, lit by the fire of faith and love.” I am spurred on bythis quote to enjoying Christ with my children and to seek Him as our treasurein all that we do. When we love and treasure Christ we find that joy isautomatically in abundance because of seeking to glorify Christ.
Chapters 6-14 drew out in very clearterms on how we are to parents our children with wisdom and the power of God.Though there were some things I did not agree with, such as teaching yourchildren catechisms, I do believe that it is wise to instruct my children tolearn from those gospel pioneers who came before us. I myself am built up byseveral pastors and early church fathers. I would not want my children to missout on those teachings. When I got to the chapters on punishment anddiscipline, I felt that some parents may get the attitude of, “you can’t tellme how to discipline my children”, but Joel did very well to avoid any sharpcriticism to those parents who think they know best.
Chapters 15-19 relay to us on how toteach our children and how to tame their tongues. Not only that, but Joel seeksto use the Bible as a main focal point on how to discern relationships ourchildren have. Again Joel uses catechisms as a side reference, which I canbegin to see the value in, but again would not use with my own children.
Part four see’s the close of thebook with how to raise teenagers in Godly wisdom and Holy Spirit power. A veryuseful section on teenagers and how to be Godly grandparents weaves itselfthrough part four of the book. Though this section does not yet pertain to me,I can see that value in knowing beforehand how to manage when teenagers need tobe led to the Lord, not only by their parents but also grandparents.
Overall the book is highly useful asJoel lays out a very methodical approach to parenting and teaching our childrento be Godly. Though there are things some parents will not agree with I highlyrecommend this book to all parents and those soon to be. Joel uses the Bible asa primary focus and points to it over and again in maintaining that we asparents are meant to raise our children up with God’s standards and His wisdom.
In compensation for writing this review I will receive a free copy of the book from Reformation Trust Publishing.
          
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