Spiritual warfare is a topic often fraught with the extreme-routinely dismissed or a demon behind every bush. In Spiritual Warfare for Your Family, Leighann McCoy finds the middle ground between the extremes.
While this book title puts the emphasis on warfare that affects the family, the book itself really doesn’t focus on that in practical ways until chapter 20. Yes, chapter 20. More on that in a moment. Part one of the book is an introduction to the existence of spiritual warfare, who the enemy is and what he can and cannot do. This is pretty basic stuff, helpful for someone who has never really had any teaching on the topic. Subsequent sections deal with why we lose battles and don’t need to, lies of the enemy and how to combat them, weapons of our warfare (and they aren’t what you’d expect), taking responsibility for your children and issues common to families.
There is some valuable information here, Part 4, Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures is particularly good and goes beyond the usual look at the armor of God. In fact, the most valuable aspect of this book is that she focuses more on the actions of the believer than on that of the enemy. Spiritual maturity equips us for warfare, and the emphasis on growing in our knowledge of God, His word and applying it to our lives give this book a fresh perspective on the topic of spiritual warfare. Each chapter has a few discussion questions at the end, making it a good book for a group study. She also has a website that has more information specific to the topic as it relates to the family, and while I haven’t looked at it yet, it sounds like a good resource.
I have mixed feelings about this book though, and it has nothing to do with the content. The handling of the topic is biblical, helpful and McCoy is an easy read. This isn’t a book geared toward women, she keeps it pretty gender neutral and there are not specific mom/dad directed applications. That makes it a good book for either parent.
But…there is a four and a half page introduction, six parts, thirty nine (albeit short) chapters, and a closing thought. I love order, I love outlines, I love bullet points and the like, but about half way through this book, I started to feel like I was reading something I’d just read a few pages earlier. Subjects (i.e. prayer, Bible study, guarding your heart, etc.) are all treated as a snapshot; instead of staying with a subject, bits are tossed like croutons in salad among the chapters. As a reader, I would have been better served if the book had less and longer chapters that covered the subject in its entirety. It’s a style thing, it may not be a big deal to you, but it did leave me feeling like the book could have lost a quarter of its length and been just as good if not better treatment of the topic.
I do recommend the book, she’s written other books on the topic and she clearly has a good understanding of the subject. Don’t let this be the only book on spiritual warfare that you read, Warren Wiersbe’s Strategy of Satan is a must read for every Christ follower. Small but powerful, I read it every couple years.
Read well, friends.
I received a commentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publisher for review purposes, and my views are my own.