Teach Them Diligently

Author Lou Priolo opens with a challenge. Do you really know how to use the Bible for "doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness" (2 Tim 3:16) when it comes to training your children? With this book, Priolo wants to help us "relate the Bible to the disciplinary process in practical ways". According to the author, three key ingredients of bringing a child to Christ-like maturity are the Holy Spirit, the Bible, and time. Priolo demonstrates how to teach the Bible, as well as how to use it for convicting (making something a strong personal belief), correcting (making right what has gone wrong), and training (establishing a habit of doing the right thing). A small portion of the book is devoted to corporal punishment; the author believes in spanking, but always in conjunction with instruction from the Bible as to what behavior brought on the discipline and what the Bible has to say about that behavior. All of these points are presented in a clear fashion with personal examples from the author's life.

All of this assumes you know the Bible well enough to pull out the right Scripture verse without fumbling to find it while your child is waiting for the discipline. The last chapter addresses this issue. Until you get good at that on your own, use Appendix A, a handy chart that lists a wrong behavior, an appropriate Scripture passage with chapter and verse, and additional Scripture references so you can pick and choose the most appropriate one for the situation. If you are dealing with an older child who has been exposed to humanistic ideas, Appendix D would also help counter these with Bible verses - a good starting point for a discussion.

If you want to tackle this topic in a group setting, a study guide is available. For each chapter in the book, study questions and application questions are provided. This should lead to lively discussion and helpful interchanges among parents.

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