Last week I finished reading Gospel Powered Parenting. It was hands down the best book I’ve read in the past year (and I’ve read some good ones). Obviously my stage of life plays a significant role in why I found this book so helpful. I suppose if you aren’t a parent you wouldn’t find it as compelling.
Rarely do non-fiction books get better and more interesting with each passing chapter. GPP accomplished that. It was so good that I started expecting a drop-off in quality but it never came. I could fill several blog posts with thought provoking quotes from Farley, but instead I want to share a couple of reasons why this book stands apart from other parenting books I’ve read.
First, the Gospel permeates every page. This is unique because many books on parenting focus on the inherent goodness of your child. But the Gospel is good news because it is a solution to a problem. The biggest problem my kids have is the sin that dwells within. If I don’t address that fundamental problem, my trajectory for discipline and training will be skewed.
Second, (one of the light bulb moments for me) effective parents equip their children not by changing and controlling their environments but by going after their hearts. After our children have made a decision to follow Jesus, we need to lean into their new birth to bring new desires – more so than expecting our rules and boundaries to control them. Because of this, effective discipline addresses more than actions and behavior – it also seeks to address attitudes and heart motivation.
There is so much more that I gleaned and that we have begun to put into practice. If you are a parent and will only read one book this year (other than the Bible), I’d recommend this one. If you are a father and not much of a reader, I’d encourage you to buy the book and read chapter 7. After reading that chapter, I think you’ll be so aware of your need for help that you’ll probably end up reading the rest of the book. I’m grateful for William Farley and his willingness to share his failures, his successes and what he has learned about raising children who love Jesus.