A Good Read: “The Faithful Parent” by Martha Peace & Stuart Scott

faithfulparent


Martha Peace is a Bible teacher and counselor to women, through Faith Biblical Counseling Center in Sharpsburg, GA. Stuart Scott is an associate professor of Biblical Counseling at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Dr. Scott and Mrs. Peace collectively have fifty years of experience in biblical counseling and teaching. They have each raised two children, and have a combined 14 grandchildren. In the book, The Faithful Parent, Dr. Scott and Mrs. Peace blend their biblical training with their practical experience as parents to produce a very compelling and useful guide for all parents who desire to raise their children in a God-honoring manner.

The book is divided into three parts. In Part One, the authors discuss the biblical basis for Christian parenting. The assertion is that the parent’s role is to be faithful to the two primary responsibilities that God has entrusted to them:  1) to bring their children up in the discipline of the Lord, and 2) to bring their children up in the instruction of the Lord. The goal for Christian parents is to reliably and faithfully obey the Lord in this call. The foundation for this faithful charge as parents is their own daily maturity in Christ, as they themselves strive to become more like Christ each day. The authors remind parents that they are to teach their children diligently what God is like, what man is like, what sin is, and what God has done to take away sin. Our children, on the other hand, are called to obey their parents and honor their parents in the Lord. Children are to always obey, unless they are being asked to sin. In this section, Stuart Scott also addresses the most important aspect of our children’s lives – salvation and sanctification.

In Part Two, the authors explore the different stages of childhood, from infancy to teenager, and give practical wisdom and principles for discipline and instruction. They consistently remind parents of common sense tips and biblical principles for each stage of growth. They also address the nature and temperaments of each developmental age and how to effectively discipline and instruct children as they advance through childhood. The authors also address the many ways in which parents can provoke their children to anger and disobedience. At the end of each chapter, the book provides review questions to help parents think about and apply the principles learned.

In Part Three, Scott and Peace address the persistent and steadfast parenting that arises during times of trial, sinfulness, and suffering. In this section, the authors explore briefly the special cases of parenting. Some of the topics they cover are single parenting, divorced parents, blended families, an absentee parent, homes with one Christian parent and one unbelieving parent, grandparent problems, and children with special needs. This is not an in depth study, but rather a quick overview of special situations, with practical advice for parents in these situations.

This final section of the book also covers the child that rejects the gospel and turns away from faith in Christ. It provides biblical principles to remember while persevering through hardship, poor choices, sinful situations, etc. The authors even supply a 30 day devotional to reorient the parent’s heart and mind throughout their trial and suffering.

The book ends with four appendices that serve to assist parents with presenting the Gospel to their children, dealing with sin in their own lives, raising a godly man, and taking their own thoughts captive. This book is a thoughtful and practical resource for parents to gain a biblical understanding of their God ordained responsibility, and it provides applicable strategies to implement in the lives of their children. It is a great reference for parents who are striving to bring their children up in the discipline and the instruction of the Lord.

Already Exhausted?

“As your days, so shall your strength be.”
Deuteronomy 33:25

From time to time, everyone experiences at least short periods of time where they feel exhausted. For some, there may be extended periods which can bring on depression.

However, the Lord continues to give us bodily strength to get through each day. But, there is also spiritual strength. This kind of strength is very different from bodily strength and it is His strength making us perfect in our weakness. It is the kind of strength that helps us to believe, to pray, and to live godly lives in this present evil world. Clearly, the true Christian life is not easy. Scripture refers to it as running a race that is run with endurance, or fighting a war like a soldier or warrior. We live in a world where the Christian’s enemies are formidable.

Suffering is an unavoidable part of the Christian life. The apostle Paul was told immediately after his conversion that he would suffer great things in his service to Christ. Our times are no different than his. We live in a world that is clearly anti-Christian, and if the law did not restrain men, we would experience even greater trials.

It is important to understand that God is not absent from our physical or spiritual sufferings. He uses all things for our good and we should not despise those hard life experiences, nor should we give up. Paul and James challenge us to think the way God wants us to think. In the face of difficulties, we are to believe that God is lovingly using even the evil actions of people toward us to shape us into the image of his Son.

This is the clear truth of the Bible, but choosing to believe this will inevitably bring us to ask a very scary question. That is, who has the strength to walk through every day without stumbling physically, spiritually, or emotionally? Who prays as often and as sincerely as they should? Who has a mind that does not wander into sinful and wicked thoughts? Answer: No one.

The answer should not create fear in us, but rather anticipation because, when we are weak, He is strong. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might, He increases strength, and will do it according to His glorious might!