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Book Review – The Fulfilled Family

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It seems to me that John MacArthur writes books in two broad categories. The first is books that often address cultural issues or specific issues within the church. This includes books like Hard to Believe or Ashamed of the Gospel. The other category is books that are drawn from sermons series he preaches to his congregation at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. The Fulfilled Family, the lastest in a long line of MacArthur’s books, falls squarely in the second category. This book began as a series of sermons expositing Ephesians 5. It is no more and no less than what we have come to expect of John MacArthur – well-written, deep, challenging, and above all else, firmly biblical.

The book is divided into five chapters of roughly equal length. There is one chapter for each of the family, the wife, the husband, the child and the parents. Following the theme of the book, each chapter exposits a portion of the fifth chapter of Ephesians and other parallel texts.

The theme of the book is the importance of mutual submission. This is not the mutual submission taught by those who would have us believe in the equality of roles between men and women, but the mutual submission exemplified by Christ Himself. Husband, wife and children are all called to be submissive to one another, being clothed in humility. This is the very core of Christlike character. “As Christians, this is the mentality that should govern all our relationships: ‘In lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests,but also for the interest of others’ (Phil.2:3-4)” (page 10).

This theme pervades each chapter as MacArthur calls for wives to submit to their husbands, for husbands to honor their wives, for children to respect their parents and for parents to love their children. Ultimately a family can only be a fulfilled family by following God’s divine plan for family life.

A short book, at only 126 pages, The Fulfilled Family provides a challenge for any believer. After all, every one of us is either a husband, a wife or a child. It is the type of book that makes an ideal gift. While there are more thorough books on the family (including some written by John MacArthur) this one does what it sets out to do – provide biblical wisdom to address the constant challenges facing the divine plan for the family. Needless to say, I recommend this book.

RatingEvaluation
★★★Theology/Accuracy
Strong and biblical as we’ve come to expect from John MacArthur.
★★Readability
Well-written, short and easy to read.
Uniqueness
There are fourteen billion similar titles available.
★★Importance
With the family under attack from all quarters, we need such biblical wisdom.
Overall
It is a good book. There are more thorough books on the family, but this one is short and challenging.
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