Billed as "A Topical Reference Guide for Biblical Child-Training," For
Instruction in Righteousness is a 363-page, spiral-bound
whopper of a parenting reference manual! The book starts off
with an introduction about using God's Word as the authority
in all parenting. From there, the guide is divided into seven
chapters of sin categories and then further divided into more
specific offenses. For instance, the first chapter is "Sins of
a Proud Heart." The subsections include Pride, Self-Righteousness,
Hypocrisy, Stubbornness/Self-Will, etc. The final two chapters
offer comparisons of the obedient and disobedient as well as
additional helps in your parenting journey.
In the introduction, Pam Forster explains that this book was written
because "raising children is a humbling experience; each new baby
exposes more of my weaknesses, more of my inadequacies, more of
my need to rely on my sovereign Lord for strength and guidance." I
felt a kinship with the author when she talked about our being
the Dr. Spock generation. I too remember my mom's often-used, dog-eared
volume of his parenting paperback. The introduction goes on to
emphasize that God's Word is our perfect authority for faithfully
discipling our children, and then it gives instruction on how to
use the rest of the book. A handy three-column chart is included
as a visual aid to show what God's Word says, what the parents'
responsibility is based on the Word, and then how For Instruction
in Righteousness helps the parent.
The "sin" subchapters are laid out in seven sections. First, general
information and commandments about the sin are given. The next
two segments include what happens (or should happen) to the person
engaging in the sin and what that person should do. Then, it points
out what the sin is likened to in Scripture, followed by stories
in the Bible that demonstrate the consequences of practicing the
sin and the blessings of resisting that sin. The sixth section
illustrates the blessing for those to resist sin and practice righteousness.
Finally, there are memory verses to help fight the temptation to
The comparison chapter highlights many common behavior issues
and their more favorable counterparts, such as foolishness vs.
wisdom and wickedness vs. righteousness. There's even a blank page
for additional comparisons if the need arises. Additional resources
include ideas on how to help your child learn from Scripture, how
to use For Instruction in Righteousness for Bible study,
and the author's thoughts on rewarding children and paying them
for work. Last is a listing of useful resources, mostly available
on the Doorposts website as well.
The guidebook points out that it can be used for quick reference;
for family worship, Bible study and long-term problems; and for
unit studies. I would also add that it could be used in Sunday
school, for Sunday sermons, and for devotion time at co-ops or
Parenting is hard work and there are dozens if not hundreds of
books dedicated to helping us figure it out. However, God wrote
the first and only guide that is perfect. For Instruction in
Righteousness is a comprehensive, easy-to-use guide that
points us to the Bible for true help. Its topical layout makes
finding the appropriate Scriptures a cinch and figuring out what
to do a less daunting task. It will promote consistency in our
parenting, I am sure
Whenever I have ever heard anyone talking about the previous editions
of For Instruction in Righteousness, I was impressed
by the reverence it received. I wasn't sure any book could live
up to such a reputation. When I first received the book, I thought
it was too thick for me to ever use without difficulty. I was wrong.
So, if there is a "con" to this book, it's that the first impression
might be daunting. Getting past that notion, however, it is simple
to figure out.
Our family is gearing up for a new homeschool year and that includes
a new year of family Bible study. For Instruction in Righteousness will
be a much-used resource this year and beyond!