In Parenting by God’s Promises, Joel Beeke focuses on the essentials in raising children to walk in the ways of the Lord. The books is split into four parts with the first two being theological foundations of parenting and the latter two consisting of practical advice on parenting children and teenagers. As Beeke upholds the paedobaptist position, the first part argues that children of believing parents should be viewed as being part of the covenant people of God. Nevertheless, the author helpfully reminds readers that regardless of one’s theological convictions, we can all agree that the core purpose of parenting is to raise children who will follow Christ faithfully all the days of their lives. The second part talks about the three roles that parents take on as prophet, priest, and king. As prophets, parents need to teach God’s Word to their children and train them to live godly lives. As priests, we are to intercede for them through our own prayers and praying with our children thereby placing them in God’s powerful hands. As kings, we exercise authority in the home to steer children back to God’s precepts when they go astray and establish rules according to Scripture with God-given wisdom. The last two parts consist of pragmatic advice that Beeke provides through his pastoral and personal experience along with examples from our spiritual forebears with an emphasis on the Puritan approach to household management. As a whole, this book is concise yet encompassing as the author avoids going into unnecessary detail but offers suggestions on issues as specific as helping children graduating from high school pick an appropriate college and career.
I recommend this book to Christian parents at all stages in parenting. I appreciate how Beeke encourages us that even if we have failed in our attempts to be a godly parent, there is always hope because our children belong to God. The author extends hope to parents and grandparents who have missed past opportunities to influence their children in their formative years to take hold of what precious time is remaining to become a spiritual mentor and friend to their adult children. We are reminded that instead of merely relying on parenting methods, our primary responsibility is to bring our children to Christ and plead for His mercy to guide and empower them every day. We only have a short timeframe to teach, counsel, and guide our children to walk in God’s ways thus we need to seize every moment to show them the glory of Christ and to urge them to cling on to Jesus.
In compliance with Federal Trade Commission guidelines, I received a review copy from Reformation Trust in exchange for a book review.