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Disciplines of a Godly Family

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Disciplines of a Godly Family covers such topics as establishing a solid family heritage, promoting affection between family members, encouraging godliness in children, using appropriate discipline, and helping children cultivate enriching lifelong habits. The Hugheses also offer tips for fun and affordable family vacations, creating family traditions, and starting a prayer notebook. They even give us a suggested list of books and videos that should be in every family's library.

For those struggling to parent their own children or to equip other parents for this task, a more practical, honest, and common-sense guide will be hard to find.

256 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2004

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About the author

R. Kent Hughes

85 books57 followers
R. Kent Hughes (DMin, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is senior pastor emeritus of College Church in Wheaton, Illinois, and a visiting professor of practical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Hughes is also a founder of the Charles Simeon Trust, which conducts expository preaching conferences throughout North America and worldwide. He and his wife, Barbara, have four children and an ever-increasing number of grandchildren.

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5 stars
80 (40%)
4 stars
74 (37%)
3 stars
37 (18%)
2 stars
4 (2%)
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2 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews
Profile Image for Tiana.
25 reviews1 follower
December 30, 2021
This is an excellent book for a young couple or family. Although officially, we are considered “empty nesters” our college son is still with us. There were many disciplines that we did not do while our children were young, when we were not walking with the Lord, that allowed us to reflect on and prayerfully incorporate them into our family life now, grateful to do so! Additionally, it served as an edifying foundation for our college son, for when he does have his own family and to share with his school mates that are getting married! Totally recommend!
Profile Image for Steven Evans.
208 reviews5 followers
March 17, 2020
This is a book you live through, rather than just read through.

I wish someone had given me this book when I was first married. There is so much practical wisdom in this book. I wish there was some way to download all of this knowledge into my brain at once! I suppose it does not work that way, but I felt so convicted and encouraged by this book but I just cannot immediately implement all that is in it. It takes time and work - discipline - to have a godly family.

I started making a prayer journal as laid out in this book, and am learning what it is to labor in prayer. It is real work to pull together but has already been very beneficial in understanding my children and knowing how to pray for them and where to guide.

The section on discipline is so practical, realistic, and hopeful. As are those on teaching good manners, enriching children's lives, and establishing a heritage.

There is just so much to like about this book. Buy it. Read it slowly and take abundant take notes.
Profile Image for Jeremy.
142 reviews1 follower
March 14, 2018
This book articulates a clear vision for building a God-centered family, and is extremely practical in its aims. The chapter on Developing a Healthy Self-Regard is a great articulation of our identity in Christ. This was a great refresher of the "big picture" aims of Christian parenting, and the practical stuff was well done.
1 review2 followers
August 8, 2009
I really learned a lot from this book about the high calling that is given to Christian parents. Too often do we see parenting as simply hanging in there and hoping that God would let his children walk with Jesus. And yet, this book coupled with my readings in 1 Timothy have given me a picture of the remarkable intentionality that godly parents should have for their children. To train them up in the ways of the Lord is a discipline and establishing family disciplines is so very important. For those who think that having a family is somehow a lesser call than being an itinerant evangelist or an overseas missionary, this book has a lot to say about how fathers and mothers are evangelists, disciplers, and prayer warriors to name just a few of the role parents have.

I look forward one day to putting some of the wise counsel in this book into practice. What a high call godly parenting is!!
Profile Image for John.
811 reviews121 followers
December 28, 2015
This is a different kind of parenting book than what we normally think about when reading on the topic. The focus of the book is how parents ought to cultivate certain disciplines in their families, for the benefit of their children.

The Hughes emphasize these areas out of experience, having raised many kids of their own. The focus is not on the how, but the what. What are our goals in raising our children? What do we want our children to remember, and pass on to their own children?

Answering these questions gives us perspective on the how. They give a great deal of latitude in these areas, but argue that we must attempt to work on disciplining our family in certain things. The beauty of these disciplines is that they enrich the lives of everyone in the family--knitting them together in love.

This is a great book, and has great resources in the large appendix.
Profile Image for Garrett Shirey.
10 reviews
November 8, 2012
Again, Kent Hughes (with his wife, Barbara this time) does an incredibly practical job of sharing his personal advice from a life lived accordingly. Thankful they took the time to write this book. It's scary how un-intentional families are these days.
195 reviews1 follower
December 23, 2014
This is an update on his original book common sense parenting. This is the best practical parenting book I have ever read. I would highly recommend. There is not a ton of depth in here but the breadth is amazing. Kent Hughes rocks!!!
Profile Image for Elisabeth.
33 reviews
August 8, 2012
Their ideas for deliberate parenting are incredibly helpful (though overwhelming for a new mom). I especially like the appendix that give concrete ideas and resources.
25 reviews
February 10, 2020
I love how both authors offered daily practical down-to-earth principles towards a godly family. The authors' real life stories and parenting experiences are great reference point!!
Profile Image for Coyle.
665 reviews52 followers
September 18, 2014
"'Disciplines of a Godly Family' by Kent and Barbara Hughes is a fine enough book. The theology is solid; the advice is sound; and the writing is clear and readable. If I have a quibble with the book itself, it’s the fact that the structure seems to be loosely based around, well, I don’t know for sure. Stuff that the authors wanted to be sure was included? The appendices are the worst offenders here, including book suggestions, a poem (and not a terribly good one at that), vacation ideas, advent suggestions, and recipes. And while each of these things is somewhat related to the rest of the text, they also could quiet easily have cut the book’s length in half. Again, this is a minor quibble—by and large the book is fine. No better and no worse than any of the other theologically solid parenting books available.

My problem is more of a general theological one with this genre as a whole. The more of these Christian parenting books I read, the more… something I become. Disquieted? Uneasy? Hungry? All three? (Three is too many emotions for a guy to handle, so let’s go with just the first two.)

Here’s my problem: when we’re talking about the family as a covenant institution set up by God and explained in Scripture, I’m not convinced that there is such a thing as a “Godly family” in the first place. Now, before you get your magic underwear in a twist, let me explain just what I mean by that."

Read the rest here:
39 reviews
January 3, 2011
I really appreciated this book. As with all family books, there are parts I agree with more than others. However, it is full of great ideas and even family-friendly receipes (a fun idea, although I haven't tried any yet). Even the sections where I didn't completely agree with their techniques, they are clearly approaching the issue with a love of God and families. Plus, it brought up several good issues that I hadn't even thought about yet. I definitely recommend for young families.
25 reviews3 followers
Want to read
July 1, 2011
Recommended by a friend.
Profile Image for Eddie Lutz.
11 reviews3 followers
July 1, 2012

One of the best "practical" books on parenting that I've read.
Profile Image for Erin Schmidlkofer.
10 reviews1 follower
July 30, 2013
Very good book. One I will refer back to over and over I am sure. I love the wisdom in Barbara Hughes books. She is a beautiful woman of God
Profile Image for Lisa Bittle.
734 reviews13 followers
August 15, 2016
Not as good as their other books, but definitely parts of the book were good.
Profile Image for Andrew Canavan.
270 reviews5 followers
November 25, 2017
Great book on family life that is both aspirational and realistic. It’s very practical and could be great for prompting discussion between parents.
Profile Image for Nilay Jones.
18 reviews
February 1, 2018
This book was a lot less dry than I thought it would be, and I really enjoyed learning about the Hughes family and how it could help me learn about my family.
Profile Image for Scott Kennedy.
314 reviews4 followers
April 5, 2021
A useful book for Christian parents. You sense in the Hughes writing that they had a warm and loving yet disciplined and Christ-centred home. Helpful aspects included their focus on creating family traditions, focussing on family affection as well as their advice on discipline and manners. The chapter on prayer had some helpful advice, although it might be a little daunting if you are starting from zero in this area. Finally, the appendices had a useful list of books for children to read and I am considering our family using the 25 day advent plan that is incorporated here.
Profile Image for J.T..
Author 3 books10 followers
March 4, 2020
Kent is masterful at stirring your heart to pursue intentionality in the home. As a father, this was written in a way of bolstering and encouraging me to serve my family well with God's hopes for the home. The lists and shared examples from their lives really make you stop and think about how to intentionally incorporate these disciplines into your own family. Second only to "Disciplines of a Godly Man" in my opinion in the Hughes library.
14 reviews
January 7, 2021
The Hughes family are tremendously honest about and generous with their experiencing as a godly family. The disciplines themselves are explained quite concisely and the practical suggestions for putting them to work are abundant.
Profile Image for Seth.
63 reviews3 followers
January 4, 2020
Exceedingly practical, if a little dated (not sure if more versions have printed). Chapters are easily consumable in short spurts and they touch down immediately in daily family life - both families with and without kids (though clearly written with families with kids in mind).
3 reviews
April 15, 2021
I like the practical lists of the books. Raising kids who love God and live for Him is all because of God’s grace, not how well we can parent, but that wasn’t really communicated in this book. Felt somewhat legalistic. Follow these rules=good kids. But rules show how short we fall if we’re completely honest, and doesn’t guarantee good kids.
Profile Image for Elaine.
49 reviews
June 4, 2013
This is an excellent Biblical book on parenting, especially if you are looking for practical ideas.
Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews

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