Friday, July 8, 2011

Family Driven Faith

Family Driven Faith, Voddie Baucham Jr

Sometimes you read a book that it makes you uncomfortable on several levels, but it also intrigues you - this was that book for me.

As I said last week, I am reading a few more parenting books at the moment, and after reviewing Revolutionary Parenting, this seemed like the obvious next choice.

Family Driven Faith is subtitled: Doing what it takes to raise sons and daughters who walk with God, and therefore it seemed like a pretty good choice on the book shelf at the shop.

I will get some concerns out of the way first. If you tend to get your back up over any of the following issues, this book may not be for you:
  • a strong encouragement to home-school
  • a strong message that we should be having more children rather than less
  • the family-integrated church movement* (which was a totally new concept to me, I had never heard of it)
Like many parenting books from the USA, it is very American - a comment I think my Australian readers understand. I think he is also a Southern Baptist (which in summary I think means reformed and quite conservative). Which means, in essence, that just like any other reformed and conservative Christians - there will be things you agree with and things you don't.

Having said that, this book still had a lot to offer. It made me think again about our decisions and why we do them. It made me re-consider our priorities with the children and how we actively choose to disciple them. Here are some things that were helpful.

1. The reminder that the role of discipling children is the responsibility of parents. It is not something we can outsource to the church, no matter how good the children's programs or youth groups are.

2. The idea of having family worship time, both structured and unstructured, which teach children the things of God. This included the idea of 'catechising' the children, or working through a catechism (a form of questions and answers for learning) about the faith. (More on that coming in a later post).

3. That we do need to think critically about how our children are educated and what worldviews they are being taught (and what we want them to be taught).

If you are interested in being challenged to think about how you disciple your children and what your priorities are - read this book. Even if is makes you uncomfortable at times.

However, as you read - remember that we serve a God of wondrous grace, who loves our children more than we do and can use many ways to bring them to him, including faithful Sunday School teachers, youth group leaders, teachers, and of course, parents.

* From what I can ascertain, the Family-integrated church movement suggests churches should not be segregated according to age, all children should be with parents (no creche, Sunday school, etc). In fact, the feeling was that such segregation is detrimental to children, especially youth, therefore he was also very anti youth groups. In essence, parents (especially fathers) should be taught to lead and teach their families themselves.

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