Parenting First Aid: Hope for the Discouraged Devotional

Marty Machowski
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In this uplifting and faith-strengthening devotional book for parents, best-selling children's author Marty Machowski encourages parents in the midst of trials. Full of Scripture, testimonies of faithful parents, and insightful meditations, Parenting First Aid equips moms and dads to run to God and trust his ability to do what they can't.

Parenting isn't getting any easier, especially with the introduction of insta-porn on electronic devices, the ease of access to drugs, and the ever-increasing blurring of sexuality. This useful resource is for the weary and overwhelmed parents struggling with their children's choices, and the culture that wars against their souls.

For families with small struggles or weighty parenting trialsÑsuch as children involved with drugs, sexual sin, and teenage rebellionÑParenting First Aid is full of personal, real testimonies of God's faithfulness to those experiencing hardship.

The easy-to-use format provides encouragement to turn to God in the midst of family difficulty. While God does not promise happiness and ease in parenting, all can find comfort in God and peace beyond understanding through the Scriptures and meditations found in Parenting First Aid.


Marty Machowski is a Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, where he has served on the pastoral staff for over thirty years. He is the author of The Gospel Story Bible, Long Story Short, Old Story New, the Gospel Story Curriculum, the Prepare Him Room advent devotional and curriculum, Wise Up family devotional and curriculum, Listen Up family devotional and curriculum, Dragon Seed, and The Ology. He and his wife, Lois, have six children and two grandchildren, and they reside in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

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"Marty Machowski's Bible-saturated, gospel-shaped writing has been a blessing to my family. As a pastor, his devotionals are my go-to resource for family worship. Marty has the heart of a shepherd, the wisdom of a sage, and provides hope-filled refreshment to any parent who is weary or discouraged. Parenting First Aid is a wonderful book that has my highest endorsement, and I encourage you to pick up a copy today."
Josh Mulvihill, Executive Director of Church and Family Ministry at Renewanation; founder of

"Parents can wisely face elephant-sized challenges with youthÑbut best with only one forkful of wisdom at a time. Machowski's book serves God's wise counsel in bite-size devotionals. This is not so much about what to do as a parent as it is about who to be. The lessons are brief, interesting, and with practical instruction that you can apply immediately. If challenging parenting drains you, exasperates you, confuses you, frustrates you, these weekly meals will nurture you."
Rick Horne, Author of Get Outta My Face!: How to Reach Angry, Unmotivated Teens with Biblical Counsel and Get Offa My Case!: Godly Parenting of an Angry Teen

"Many Christian parents have a rich knowledge of God's Word, but they don't always understand how to apply that knowledge to the parenting trials God sends their way and can find themselves in a desert of parenting worries. In Parenting First Aid, Machowski brings the refreshment of Scripture to that desert. I found myself in tears as the rivers of the Word flowed into some parched corners of my life."
Chap Bettis, Executive Director of The Apollos Project; author of The Disciple-Making Parent

"Parenting is challenging work. It's also a gift from God and a unique opportunity to display God's glory as we lovingly shepherd our children and teach them the gospel of Christ. Marty Machowski's new book Parenting First Aid is a timely and encouraging reminder for parents to persevere. Every weary parent needs this book."
Albert Mohler, Jr., President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"If you've got parenting figured out, this book is not for you. For the rest of us, here is good medicine from God's WordÑnot for our child's heart, but for ours. As I read, I was repeatedly refreshed by Marty's unblinking candor about the challenges of children and the faithfulness of God. In these pages, you'll find wisdom for the weary and hope for the hurting."
Champ Thornton, Pastor; author of The Radical Book for Kids and Pass It On: A Proverbs Journal for the Next Generation

"God has given my wife and me the privilege of parenting four children, each one adopted as an older child from backgrounds of neglect, trauma, and abuse. What a delightful gift Marty Machowski has provided for parents like usÑparents for whom there are days when 'success' is simply surviving and loving one another to the end of the day. Parenting First Aid is gentle, honest, raw, and wholly centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ."
Timothy Paul Jones, Author of Family Ministry Field Guide; C. Edwin Gheens Chair of Christian Family Ministry, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

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9 Reviews

  • 5

    Posted by Jesse L. on 03 27 2024

    My words cannot match the richness of this book. It provides hope through God’s inspired word and real life applications and stories that’ll renew and encourage parents of all stages. Whether you’re expecting new parents, parents of grown children or just know parents who are clinging to the mercy, sovereignty and providence that can only be found in Christ. This book will change you because His word will not return void. Love it!

  • 5
    Parenting First Aid Book Review

    Posted by Tim Drury on 05 27 2020

    Parenting First Aid by Marty Machowski takes parents back to God’s word, the Bible, and reminds us of some great truths regarding raising kids. This book is not a quick fix for the problems of parenting, but is designed to let the truths sink in over time. This kind of first aid is similar to the way you would care for a broken bone. There is no magic pill that instantly fixes our broken bone and that is true of our problems within parenting. Machowski helps parents experience first aid by not only sharing the truths of scripture but each chapter also gives parents a 7-day plan to begin using.

  • 4
    A devotional for parents who are struggling

    Posted by Wendy on 03 24 2019

    This is a book that every parent will one day need to read – when things get hard. At that point, are you going to turn to God or are you going to try your own strength? Are you going to trust him and his good plans, or reject them when things seem to be falling apart? Machowski’s goal is to drive parents to scripture and prayer through all stages of parenting, especially in the challenges. If you’re struggling as a parent, there is much in here to remind you of the truths you already know but perhaps may have forgotten: God is sovereign, he loves your children, and he is working for good both in your heart and theirs.

  • 5
    I recommend this book!

    Posted by Suzanne Kane on 02 26 2019

    Having enjoyed many of Marty Machowski's books with our kids I was excited to read this title for adults and I was not disappointed. Parenting is a harder challenge than we could ever imagine. No matter how many good intentions we set out with we face many trials and challenges along the way. This devotional book provides practical encouragement along the way. The Bible passages are printed out which makes it easy to pick up and read when you have a few minutes in a busy day and the gospel saturated application and questions make it a book that will encourage and help you grow in your parenting .

  • 5
    a hopeful message!

    Posted by Amanda Holmes on 11 29 2018

    I loved this book! It was so insightful and encouraging. I love how solidly it is ground in scripture and the personal stories that Marty shares. I especially appreciated how open and honest he was about his own experiences as a parent, and loved reading about the unexpected twists in his daughter's love story and how God used them in the young man's life. I enjoyed this book tremendously! I received this book from New Growth. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

  • 5
    A must for parents!

    Posted by Amanda on 11 18 2018

    Parenting is definitely the hardest responsibility I’ve ever been given…to realize that God has entrusted two precious lives into my hands to raise and “train in the way they should go” is very scary sometimes, but also amazing. My children are now 12 and 15 and the decisions that I make as a parent are much more difficult now than they were years ago…it used to be so cut and dry but now we are entering a stage of many gray areas. I knew I needed this book when I read the title. There are so many moments when I feel like I’m hanging on by a thread as a mom, screaming for a lifeline and feeling like every decision I make is wrong. This book is broken down into 20 chapters that are meant to be read each for 1 week. This provides a time of reflection and meditation on what is read. The book provides “reinforcements” for those of us parents who are deep in the trenches of this difficult battle. It provides hope and help with a lot of scripture and testimonies from other parents. I am beyond thankful that this book came into my life. It is an excellent resource and gave me hope. I highly recommend this book to all parents…those who are in a difficult situation and those who aren’t (yet). I received this book from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  • 5
    Parenting First Aid Hope for the Discouraged

    Posted by ReneeK on 11 08 2018

    Marty Machowski wrote one of my favorite children’s Bible- The Gospel Story Bible. I remember cuddling with them each night while reading the word together. My kids are no longer little but teenagers. I feel blessed that I can still read our Bible together daily in our homeschool. Parenting teenagers is interesting and the struggles they face today are incredibly different then when I was a teenager. I was eagerly waiting to read Marty Machowski’s book Parenting First Aid Hope for the Discouraged. There are 20 Chapters and each chapter starts out with a scripture that you look up in your Bible. Each chapter is broken up in three days. You basically will read a chapter a week. The week starts out with an “Introduction of the Week.” In which a thought is given in the form of a story to set the stage. For example one chapter starts out in the “Introduction” talks about Thomas Cole’s famous paintings “The Voyage of Life” series. (Look up the pictures when you get to the chapter as the paintings are powerful)From there it goes into each day. Day one has a scripture verse that is written out in the book. Next is “Pondering Anew in which he expounds on the scripture. The following days follow the same pattern. Some days have “Bring it Home” which is a series of questions to ask yourself and search yourself with the words you just read. The author recommends you keep a journal. At the end of the week it ends with “Real Life” which is real parents and real situations that need “First Aid”. Parenting First Aid is a heartfelt book that will speak volumes to you as a parent. Most importantly the entire book is realistic down to earth. I’ve read some books that just aren’t very practical. This has been a very easy to read book, even for the busiest parents. The words are a huge reminder that we have got to trust in God through it all. I received a free copy of this product in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review

  • 5
    Provides Hope for Parents

    Posted by Lauren DUPrez on 11 06 2018

    If you are a parent or expecting to be one at any point, I highly recommend purchasing a copy of Marty Machowski's latest devotion book, Parenting First Aid: Hope for the Discouraged. Often Christian parents succumb to the temptation to compare themselves to other parents who seem to have it all together. These other parents appear loving, joyful, and patient and their children, it seems, are walking with Lord and rarely tend to struggle. What I appreciate about Parenting First Aid is that Machowski confesses in the Introduction that although he is a pastor, even he has received calls to pick up his son from the police station. Although my daughter is only two and I have yet to experience such parenting difficulties, I instantly felt that Machowski has created a foundation for parents to trust him as he has experienced difficult parenting moments and survived because of the hope he has in Christ. Machowski is faithful to point parents to the goodness of God as our Father and to the hope we ultimately have in Christ, whether our children are His or not. Using various passages of Scripture, some that speak directly to parenting and some that don't, Machowski reminds parents to parent in a way that is Godly. There are also plenty of real parenting moments included in each chapter which I appreciated. Knowing that an older, Godly individual has walked this path ahead of me and has become more like Christ, as a result, gives me much hope. Regardless of what parenting season you are in, Parenting First Aid is for you. This is the type of book that spouses can read individually or together. Each devotion is the perfect length and provides questions to think about at the end. With a two year old, I am still fairly new to parenting. I haven't read too many parenting books but I must say that Parenting First Aid is certainly one of my favorites.

  • 5
    A “rescue” balm of Biblical truth for weary parents

    Posted by Dr. John Slippy on 09 26 2018

    In our image-saturated culture where we boast of our honor students to perfect strangers in traffic and on social media, many parents are made to feel alone, disappointed and weary in their parenting trials. This book is a timely and spot-on dose of both Biblical and real-life “parenting-911” truth that is sure to be staple of parental required reading for years to come.

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