A Gospel Conversation for Families (Book Review)

Machowski, Marty. Don’t Blame the Mud: Only Jesus Makes Us Clean. New Growth Press, Greensboro, NC. 2019. 32 pages.

It has been said one of the most neglected mission fields is right in our homes. For parents with children, there is a unique opportunity to not only share the gospel with their sons and daughters but to also live out the faith before them. This does not happen on accident but takes intentionality on the part of the parent, seeing problematic situations as opportunities to show God’s grace and share the gospel with their kids. A picture of what this looks like can be found in Marty Machowski’s latest book Don’t Blame the Mud: Only Jesus Makes Us Clean.

A Story about Max and the Mud

With wonderful illustrations drawn by Craig McIntosh, Don’t Blame the Mud takes parents and children on a journey with Max, a youth on his way home from school. Dressed in his proper school uniform, Max is reminded of his mother’s command and warning to not get his clothes dirty. However, Max finds it too tempting to not make a maze out of the mud that seems to be along the pathway home. One misstep and he finds himself with mud on his shoes and clothes. Dirty on the outside, he tries to quietly arrive home and sneak into his room. With the trail he leaves behind him, his mother catches on and confronts him on the matter. Before she and his father speak with him, though, he is told to take a shower. While he is washing the mud off on the outside, Max still feels the muck inside of him. Upon facing his parents, he dares to shift the blame on the mud but his parents are swift to tell him where the fault lies, in his own heart. Thankfully, they do not leave the conversation there. Max’s parents use this incident with the mud to help their son understand sin and share with him the hope of the gospel. The closing pages of the book leave notes for parents to make sure their child understands sin and has a grasp on the gospel with Bible verses to remember along the way.

Creating Gospel Conversations For Families

What Marty Machowski has accomplished in this children’s book is helping children understand how their heart desires may reveal their sinfulness and where their hope of salvation can only be found. While some pages can be harder to read as the words and background blend together in color, the blending of everyday life and the truth of the gospel equips parents and encourage sons and daughters. It equips parents to see how everyday circumstances can lead into gospel conversations, and it encourages children to see how their sin shows up in their lives and how Jesus Christ alone can save them and make them clean. While this book may be referenced as a children’s book, Don’t Blame the Mud is not just for children. It is for families, parents and their children, to read together. If you desire to have gospel conversations in your home and with your family in the everyday stuff of life, then you need to read and glean from Don’t Blame the Mud: Only Jesus Makes Us Clean by Marty Machowski.

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.

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