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Book Review

Teach Them Diligently - by Priolo, Lou

Timeless Texts, 2000. 160 pp.
Book review by Louise Essex, wife of TMS professor, Dr. Keith Essex.

The objective of most Christian parents is to raise children who are conformed to the image of Christ (Galatians 4:19) yet many struggle with adequately understanding how to use the Bible for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16) in their parenting. After reviewing many publications, author Lou Priolo concludes that, with rare exception, “most of today’s Christian parenting resources fail to emphasize what is perhaps the most important aspect of true biblical parenting—how to relate the Bible to the disciplinary process in practical ways” (Preface). He desires to help parents learn how to use the Scriptures more thoroughly, practically and effectively in child training.

Priolo shows that it is not possible to bring up children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph 6:4) without the continuous use of God’s Word. In order to do so, parents must dig into God’s Word and learn it better. The author guides parents in the use of Scripture to teach, convict, correct and train children. For those desiring to address issues of a child’s heart, rather than simply responding to behavior, this book offers practical advice.

Although it is not a long book, readers will find it contains a wealth of information and counsel. To avoid becoming overwhelmed, it would be best to go through the book slowly, incorporating its teaching over time, and prayerfully waiting for change. As parents seek to use this resource with their children, they will find the in-depth study of Scripture to be powerfully convicting in their own lives as well. Reading and implementing the book’s principles requires patience not only with children, but also with one another.

Teach Them Diligently is a book I wish I’d had when we began raising our six children in 1972. It gives parents valuable insight into consistently and carefully carrying out the command of Deuteronomy 6:6-9 which tells us to teach our children when we talk, when we sit, when we walk, when we lie down and when we rise up. I believe today’s parents, and those who seeking to come alongside parents, will find this book is a valuable tool.

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