The Resolution for Women By Priscilla Shirer

The Resolution for Women was written as a companion book to The Resolution for Men and both are part of the follow-up material for the movie Courageous. The author, 31 year old (p. 234) Priscilla Shirer, is a popular women’s speaker and daughter of Pastor Tony Evans. Shirer began her career as a motivational speaker for Zig Ziglar (p. 112) and now often travels with Beth Moore and Kay Arthur (p. 189) speaking at Bible conferences for women. She is clearly an articulate and winsome communicator. Both books are designed to encourage Christian men and women to make a number of resolutions which will aid in their spiritual growth and usefulness. I have some reservations about this approach (see my review of The Resolution for Men), nevertheless both books offer some helpful insights and instructions, although I would be more supportive of the material found in the men’s book....

Home Improvement, The Parenting Book You Can Read to Your Kids,by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller (Lawrenceville, NJ: Effective Parenting, Inc., 207), 197 pp. paper $12.99

Home Improvement is a highly practical, biblically sound book which provides eight tools for effective parenting. Each chapter develops one of these tools which are: Action point (the point at which a parent takes action) Positive conclusion (“discipline is not complete until the positive relationship between the parent and child is restored” – p. 38) Taking a break (which is different from a “time out” because it focuses on heart change – pp. 57, 195-197) Teaching values Dealing with anger Consistency in discipline Learning from life Dealing with deep-rooted problems and teaching character qualities Each chapter opens with a related story, teaches the appropriate truth and follows with hands-on, practical steps to apply these truths within the home. Each chapter ends with helpful discussion questions for small group studies. Home Improvement is an excellent tool to provide parents understanding in how to apply biblical teachings in child rearing. I...

Real Marriage, the Truth About Sex, Friendship & Life Together

Real Marriage uses the backdrop of the Driscolls’ own marriage, with its numerous struggles, to provide marital advice on a number of topics such as friendship, respect, submission, sin, repentance and forgiveness.  These subjects are covered in the first section of the book and for the most-part the authors offer no unique insights.  The Driscolls do believe in the headship of the husband and submission of the wife but also believe in mutual submission as a result of their misunderstanding of Ephesians 5:21 (p. 64).  They also wrongly teach that providing for the family is man’s curse (p. 52), that 1 Peter 3:7 is about men being better physical fighters than women, and they open the book with an out of context quote of Revelation 21:5 (p. 3).  While much of their advice is biblically solid, a good portion is opinion based on either statistics or pop-psychology—for example love...

Growing a Wise Family, 100 Devotionals from the Book of Proverbs by Bryan R. Coupland

Our congregation has recently been involved in a special emphasis on the family.  As our leadership has sought ways of helping and encouraging the parents within our flock to raise their children for Christ we were in search of some material to use for family instruction.  We did not want to use a catechism but struggled to discover other appropriate aids.  That is when Bryan Coupland’s book found its way into my study and our search was over. The title is developed around 100 proverbs, each to be used in family instruction.  Each proverb is explained and well illustrated by the author.  At the end of each study three well chosen, age-appropriate discussion questions are provided.  The author then offers suggested answers to each question. Bryan Coupland writes well.  He is interesting, biblical and creative.  I found his book easy to use and of real value.  He wrote the...

The Duties of Parents by J. C. Ryle

In 1888 famed British Pastor J. C. Ryle wrote a little booklet on parenting that is remarkably up to date.  Ryle offers 17 biblical and highly practical principles that will aid any Christian parent in their efforts to raise godly children.  The booklet is barely 50 pages long but could revolutionize many a home if taken seriously and applied. ...

What He Must Be…if he wants to marry my daughter by Voddie Baucham

Voddie Baucham, well-known author dealing with family related issues, has an eighteen year old daughter—old enough to begin contemplating marriage.  While Baucham’s daughter has never dated, her father knows those days, and ultimately marriage, cannot be far off, especially with Baucham’s acceptance, even promotion, of early marriages.  With all this in mind What He Must Be is dealing with the qualifications necessary of a man who would marry his daughter and, of course by extension, the characteristics any Christian young woman should be looking for in a husband. The stated premise of the book however goes deeper:  “I believe fathers have a God-given responsibility to see to it that their daughters marry well and that their sons become worthy husbands” (p. 27).  While most Christian fathers would pay lip-service to this premise, Baucham makes it a central focus of his life.  He does well in this book by encouraging...

Everyday Talk by John A. Younts

Everyday Talk is a helpful little book based on Deuteronomy 6:6-7 and directed at parents raising children.  The key to parenting, Younts insists, is to have the commands of God in their hearts and to impress those commands on their children (pp. 13-14).  Parents do this best through everyday communication as they instruct their children in the ways of God in the normal activities of life.  The things of God are best explained as we work, play, eat, deal with joy and sorrow and generally work though issues of living.  Younts does not address the subject of family worship (sometimes called the family altar) nor does he offer a complicated program.  Instead Younts believes the best means of influencing our children for Christ is through simple God-centered communication.  For example, the parent is to help their child see the fingerprints of God in creation, in disappointment, in failure or...

Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham Jr

Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham Jr.: Crossway Books, 2007. 224 pp.,  Cloth $19.99 Baucham is well known in Christian circles as a strong advocate for the family, homeschooling and the family-integrated approach to church life.  He is a Southern Baptist who by age 34 had served on numerous church staffs. Baucham’s overall emphasis on family is welcomed and refreshing.  In a world, including a Christian culture, gone mad over success, sports, money and endless activity, it is good to be encouraged to slow down and evaluate what is important in life.  When we look into Scripture we discover that the Lord is not particularly interested in what drives most people.  Translated into the family structure this means that God does not place a premium on Christian parents raising children to be sports-stars, achieving the American-dream, or embracing a worldview of the society around us.  The Lord places a...

When Sinners Say “I Do” by Dave Harvey

Harvey has written a solid, biblical book based on a dual premise.  First, as per the title, all marriages are the union of two sinners, therefore problems are inevitable because in the heart of each of us resides a sinner (p. 51).  Harvey does not deny the transforming work of the Holy Spirit which is ever drawing us nearer to Christlikeness (p. 140), but a battle with sin rages in the heart of God’s children.  When sin gets the upper hand, not only do we offend a holy God, but we bring damage to others including our spouse.  Wise then is the couple which recognizes that two sinners united as one will sin against one another, bringing pain and hurt.  But all is not lost, for the second premise, “What we believe about God determines the quality of our marriage” (p. 20), offers great hope.  Marital happiness and fruitfulness...

The Excellent Wife a Biblical Perspective (Expanded Edition) by Martha Peace

Martha Peace has done Christian marriage a great favor by accumulating and explaining the biblical teachings and principles for being a godly wife.  The Word of God is clear when it comes to roles and responsibilities, and Peace has written a valuable book to remind women of their biblical role.  The Excellent Wife is comprehensively filled with Scripture, exhortation and practical advice.  It is also counter–cultural.  Even some within evangelical circles will bristle at Peace’s strong emphasis on submission, being workers at home and other duties seen today as subservient by many.  But Peace refuses to compromise, laying out the biblical mandates as she comprehends them and, with a handful of exceptions, I believe she understands the Scripture’s teachings correctly.  Any concerns I have about Peace’s teachings are minor in nature.  For example,   I would question her suggestion that a wife should “think about what you would like for...