10 Reasons to Lead Your Family Through “Listen Up”

by Jun 18, 2018Article, Book Review0 comments

Marty Machowski has written another gem for children and their families. He is already an author of numerous resources on the Bible’s big story, systematic theology, and a devotional on Proverbs.

Now his latest book is available, Listen Up: 10-Minute Family Devotions on the Parables. Here are 10 reasons you should prayerfully consider leading your own family through Marty’s book:

1. It Is Paired with High-Quality Music

Don’t just get the devotional—get the music album too! For years, our family has loved learning rich, biblical truths through both the writing of great literature and great music from Sovereign Grace. And it makes for a particularly powerful punch when the two come together—this time, focusing on Jesus’s parables.

2. It Helps Make Clear the Parables of Jesus

Throughout the years, there are certain teachings from Jesus that I have read over and over again, and I still feel as if I hardly understand them—even with a seminary degree! But Marty’s experience both as a seasoned pastor and a skilled teacher enables him to explain what Jesus taught and why He used parables.

3. It Equips Parents to Disciple Their Children

We parents can be tempted to leave our kids’ discipleship in the hands of the pastors and leaders at our local churches. Marty longs to come alongside us and give us the tools we need not just to impart knowledge to our children, but to commend Christ and His powerful ministry to them.

4. It Comes in Manageable Portions

Some devotionals are too long and can wear our children out. Others are too simplistic and don’t sufficiently challenge our children. Listen Up is a great length at approximately 10 minutes each, enabling kids to chew on solid food throughout the day without choking on it.

5. It Teaches — Through Stories

Faithful to Jesus’s style, Marty doesn’t simply teach propositions; he tells stories. Jesus, the Master Teacher, knows how to make a point and how to make it stick. Stories, like music, help us remember—and feel—the truth we’ve received.

6. It Celebrates Sound Doctrine and Sound Living

Marty wants the next generation to think rightly, to know God truly, and to worship Him in truth. But he also longs for our children and grandchildren to love this God passionately, to proclaim His kingdom boldly, and to worship Him in spirit. Which means he aims not just for changed thinking, but changed lives.

7. It Anticipates Each Coming Week of Lessons

Every chapter, Marty provides a preview of what’s to come, helping both parents and children orient each day’s devotional around a particular parable and theme. Then, for the five lessons throughout the week, families are better able to dive deep into Jesus’s teaching.

8. It Facilitates Meaningful Conversation

Marty is a master question-asker, and his discussion questions should prove fruitful to the family that patiently works through them. He especially recommends that parents review the lessons and questions ahead of time so that they can share thoughtful reflections with their children.

9. It Is Suited for a Wide Range of Ages

My 7-year-old, 4-year-old, and even 2-year-old have all benefitted from Marty’s teaching. But even teenagers can learn from his resources, as he provides Going Deeper material for those who can handle it.

10. It Directs Us to Christ’s Second Coming

I end where Marty’s book ends: at the end…of this age! How precious is a devotional that orients us around the next significant event in redemptive history, Christ’s second coming. And, like the Bible, Listen Up helps us prepare and long for Jesus’s appearing by spurring us on to love and good works.

Bryan DeWire graduated from Bethlehem College & Seminary, supports the team at desiringGod.org, and worships at Sovereign Grace Church in Burnsville, MN.