Machowski, Marty. Parenting First Aid: Hope for the Discouraged. New Growth Press, Greensboro, NC. 2018. 240 pages.
Parenting is not for the faint of heart. Psalm 127:3 is right to say “children are a heritage from the LORD” but this blessing of birthing and bringing up children does not mean parents do not need help along the way. As parents raise their children, moments of discouragement, weariness, and strain will come. It is during those times parents need words of encouragement to strengthen them and instill them with hope. Marty Machowski has provided such in his new work Parenting First Aid: Hope for the Discouraged.
Devotionals for Help and Hope
Drawing from both his vocation as a family life pastor and his role as a parent, Marty transparently shares his struggles and failures while pointing parents to Scripture for help and hope. The book is made up of 20 chapters, with each containing three devotionals which are filled with biblical truth. Serving as the bookends, each chapter opens up and closes with an illustration related to real life. The devotionals themselves conclude with “Bring It Home” questions to encourage parents to consider how to apply what they have just read and thought on from Scripture to their parenting.
For the Heart of a Parent
Parenting First Aid is a devotional that shows that while parenting is not for the faint of heart, it is in parenting that God shows he is after the heart. As parents look to and lean on biblical truths in the midst of trials and triumphs, they see the portrait of a Heavenly Father who loves His children and pursues them. As parents pray for and pursue their children, they are not only reminded that God is after the hearts of their children but that He is after the hearts of them too.
The devotionals in the book get to the heart of parenting by sharing real-life stories and showing how the Word of God applies into family life, especially for parents. These devotionals are rich with gospel content and faithful to the biblical text. There are a few passages that do not inherently speak about parenting or anything similar but when the author does use such a passage, he highlights that matter to say that the implications and applications of the passage do extend to parenting.
Preference of One Passage
While all these gospel-rich devotions were faithful to the biblical text, the stronger chapters seemed to be the sections which focused on one Bible passage in particular as opposed to two or three. The flow of the devotionals felt smoother. Walking through one passage per week would allow the reader to possibly have a firmer grasp on a particular text and how to apply it. Nevertheless, the chapters that have more than one passage do not lack good content. Even as a critique, this is more a matter of preference than it is criticism.
Devotional for the Heart of the Parent
All things considered, Parenting First Aid: Hope for the Discouraged by Marty Machowski is a wonderful devotional for the heart of the parent. With three devotionals in each chapter, this is a resource that can be used over a period of a few months, ideally one chapter being read and reflected on per week. If you are a new parent looking for encouragement as you hope to raise a child in the Lord or if you are in the midst of this thing called parenting and are longing to gain strength and wisdom, then this book is what the doctor ordered to help you as a parent. Fight with faith in this battle of parenting and find encouragement in the heart of the gospel by getting a copy of Parenting First Aid today.
I received this book from New Growth Press in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.