Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments
Kara Durbin
Moody Publishers
2012

All in all, this book delivers exactly what it says it will do: presents a handy topical guide for teachable moments, all tied to Scripture! Topics are covered in two pages each. The topic is listed and then followed by several Scripture references (actually, quite a few in some cases), then discussion questions and activities for reinforcement. Parenting tips are also sprinkled throughout as they correspond with a given topic. I appreciate the positive spin on so many topics (i.e. “honesty” and “thankfulness” are covered as well as topics like “complaining” and “anger”). This lets you easily use this book as a devotional guide with your children, covering topics as they arise in the book. Since the topics are listed alphabetically and cross-referenced in the back, it’s also an easy book to use “in the moment.” (The author makes a point of saying in the introduction that she couldn’t find books that used Scripture in this manner; I think that’s not quite true. Doorposts has some thorough resources in this vein; Don’t Make Me Count to Three, Teach Them Diligently, and Shepherding a Child’s Heart are also books in this vein, but they don’t provide quite the practical Scripture reference guide.)

I think this book is probably most helpful with older preschoolers and up; very young children won’t really “get” the questions (although you can always start memorizing Scripture with them as soon as they can talk!).

Perhaps my biggest “issue” with the book is the absence of grace, or the seeming lack of emphasis on it. Certainly we are to be working out our salvation, striving to obey the Lord, seeking to “put off the old and put on the new.” But in all these things, we are more than conquerors…through Christ! We can only do these things in his strength and through his grace. Similarly, I found the explanation of the gospel a little lacking.

That being said, I still think this is eminently helpful resource for Christian parents; I plan to buy the book and will just adapt some of the information to my own Reformed theology. This new edition will be available in stores this month; check it out!

Advance review copy from netgalley; cover image from goodreads.com

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