The Faithful Parent is advertised with the following synopsis: “Parents and children need help from the One who is perfect, who understands our need, and who can really help us-God himself. Because of that, the most important relationship in your family is your relationship with him. That’s the relationship The Faithful Parent emphasizes.” I’m not sure that’s what I came away with from the book. While the concept is certainly introduced at the beginning, I didn’t find it woven throughout quite as deeply as I was hoping for when I picked up the book. It does offer some advice about sharing the gospel with your children, but most of it is poorly developed for my taste. For example, the entire chapter on raising pre-schoolers is about 10 pages, and the one on teenagers is less than 20. The answers they give to most questions are good answers and solid answers, but not deep answers.
In terms of discipline you need not bother reading the book at all if you are not an advocate of corporal because this book definitely is. Surprisingly, though, this book doesn’t seem to offer a defense, description of, or instruction in how to apply corporal punishment, it simply suggests it be used. This, in my opinion, is a huge omission – if you are not a supporter of corporal punishment this book will not convince you to use it (and you’ll find few, if any, alternatives in the book for dealing with discipline).
Actually, the most valuable part of the book (and the only reason I gave it the ranking I did at the end) is found in the Appendixes. They are entitled, “Presenting the Gospel in Context: Faithfully Sowing the Seed According to the Scriptures”, “Put Off/Put On Dynamic”, “The Making of a Man of God”, and “Taking Thoughts Captive.” If you read nothing else in the book, these are worth the time it takes to read them. Over all, this book would make a good complement to Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp (who happened to write the forward for this book), but I would recommend reading it AFTER the Tripp book because that will put some context in place. Over all, I’ll give it 3.5/5 stars.