Parenting Kneeling Down, Not Standing Up
Weary parents can find peace in the midst of parenting trials
by trusting in a God who promises to partner with them.
In today’s world of insta-porn on electronic devices, the ease of access to drugs, and the ever-increasing blurring of sexuality, families are assaulted with an unprecedented level of trials and challenges. Parents are faced with disappointment and overwhelming trials. They often blame themselves when their children struggle and don’t recognize that God often allows trials to help parents lean on and trust him.
Parenting First Aid: Hope for the Discouraged by best-selling author Marty Machowski (New Growth Press/September 24, 2018) is designed to point parents back to God. His goal is to encourage overwhelmed parents with the Bible passages that encouraged him when he experienced trials as a parent. “The best advice I can give parents in a major trial is don’t give up, and don’t allow the enemy to discourage you or tell you God doesn’t care or won’t help. Galatians 6:9 has always encouraged me: ‘And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.’”
Machowski knows some serious parenting trials seem to refuse to be resolved and understands how parents wrestle with weighty trials, from dealing with children involved with drugs or sexual sin to teenage rebellion. In those tough times, many parents reach for parenting books that provide to-do lists, techniques, or a solutions-based approach to child-rearing, promising certain outcomes. But what happens when these parenting technique books fail to deliver what they promise, leaving parents disillusioned and at a loss for what to do? “God bridges the gap between parenting theory and parenting reality,” Machowski says. “When I went through my own parenting trials, I felt the Lord impress this message upon my heart: ‘I don’t want you parenting standing up. I want you parenting kneeling down.’ In other words, it’s not technique that is going to deliver you through the parenting years. God instead wanted me to entrust myself to him. Only God can deliver us through our parenting years.”
Parenting First Aid is filled with real-life stories of parents who face various trials and found their hope in God through them. The devotionals are full of Scripture, personal stories, and meditations aiming to reinvigorate the faith of parents and keep their focus on a sovereign God and his ability to reach and rescue their children. Machowski is clear not all of the stories lead to happy endings because God has not promised us happiness and ease. However, all the people in the stories did find comfort in God and a peace beyond understanding.
Machowski assures parents anyone who weary and discouraged will benefit from the devotions, not just those walking through a major trial. His goal is to encourage, uplift, and strengthen the faith of parents in the midst of hardship. The book is divided into twenty weeks with three devotionals and a real-life testimony for each week. While Machowski designed the book so parents can complete Parenting First Aid in five months, parents in an intense season can use the book daily over two months.
By compiling unique Bible passages not typically applied to parenting, Machowski hopes parents will be challenged by Scriptures they have likely not applied to their situations. Through his biblically based insight, he strives to remind parents they shouldn’t parent alone. “Parenting is easy until it gets harder. God is the second watchman on the wall and the second set of hands to help us build. God has uniquely crafted our parenting trials to drive us back to him, the only one who has the power to save. Trusting God through parenting trials doesn’t just help us get by; it helps us thrive.
Marty Machowski is a Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, where he has served on the pastoral staff for thirty years. Machowski leads Promise Kingdom, the gospel-centered children’s ministry of Covenant Fellowship.
He is the author of numerous resources for churches and families, including The Gospel Story for Kids series, The Ology, and Parenting First Aid.
Machowski and his wife, Lois, and their six children reside in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He is also the Executive Editor for Children’s Resources at New Growth Press.
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New Growth Press publishes gospel-centered Christian books, small group, and kids Bible resources for discipleship, biblical counseling, and missional ministry. For more information about Parenting First Aid and other releases from New Growth Press, visit www.newgrowthpress.com.