Saturday, May 30, 2009

Book Review: Teach Them Diligently

Over the past months, I've slowly made my way through "Teach Them Diligently: How to Use the Scriptures in Child Training" by Lou Priolo. It really helps me to read parenting books, since we are in the thick of learning how to discipline little Hopey. We want more than anything for her and Anna to grow up to be women who love the Lord with all their heart, soul, strength and mind, and their neighbor as themselves. So, we enjoy drawing from the wisdom of others who have walked down this path before us.

"Teach Them Diligently" challenged me in two ways: First, to know and memorize the Bible more. I will not be able to effectively get to the root heart-issues of Hope's (and Anna's eventually) sin, if I do not expose it with truth from the Word. But, I have to know the Word! I need to know scriptures that apply to every area of life, so that I will be able to point Hope in the right direction and expose wrong thinking. It would be helpful to point her to people in the Bible who have the same struggles as her, and to the promises of God that can be claimed in the situation. Such as, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. And this is the first commandment with a promise; that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land." Priolo says, "your child cannot repent (change his mind) without first being convicted of his sin." We do not want to raise little Pharisees who behave outwardly, but in whom there is no heart-change. This would not be good for the girls. So, we need to be able to convince them with scripture.

Second, I was challenged again to focus on the good of Hope when disciplining. Priolo says, "The goal you're trying to accomplish when dealing with a brother who has been overtaken by a fault should be restoration... your motive should be to restore your child, not to expose him, make things easier for yourself, or extract personal vengeance on him by humiliating him." It is good for Hope and Anna to obey God's commands. (It is good for ME to obey God!) They are little human beings that we have the responsibility for teaching how to live Christ-like. It is no easy task, but we should never be self-centered or impatient about it.

The book was helpful and probably one I will revisit in a few more years. A lot of it will work well when Hope is a little older and when reasoning with her is a little more realistic. I appreciated the book's biblical approach and the focus on the heart of the child, rather than their outward behavior. I'd recommend it.

On another note: Here's a picture of Hope and Mark at a Giants vs. Cubs game at Wrigley Field from a few weeks ago. They had a very special trip - train ride, hot dog and all. Hope is still pretending to go to the "baseball game" with her babies. Mark thinks there's nothing cuter than his daughter in a pink Giants shirt.


Sarah said...

Hey Stephanie, Yes I agree! This is a great book. It is a definite reminder to me that I need to be hiding the Word in my heart. Thanks for sharing! Your girls are beautiful! Miss you all! Love, Sarah

j9 said...

Thank you for your review :) we are still a few years off from having our own kids, but I am always trying to learn more so when we do I can be slightly more prepared.
I think the best thing about you quitting FB was that I found your blog. Blogs are so much more personal and I have learn't so much more about you and your family etc through this blog. Hope you are doing well, I kinda fell off the Trinity wives face of the earth - sorry we moved then my hubby transfered (evil to trinity people but turned out great for him:)unplanned by us but truely a God thing) God bless

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