By Tom and Richard Blackaby
Published by B&H Publishing, Nashville, Tennessee 2013
As an adult, what is the most difficult area of your life? Where do you often have to make the hardest decisions, and sometimes experience what are your greatest failures or greatest accomplishments? If you are a parent, it would be in raising your family. And if you are a Christian, it is raising your children to become followers of Christ, to accept Him as their own. That's what this book sets out to accomplish. It applies guidelines from Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God. It is the belief of the authors, and my belief as well, that it is harder today to raise Christian, God-fearing children, than it has ever been. If you don't believe it, think about your own youth and compare it with the experiences and temptations our own kids have to deal with today.
The Blackaby's use their own families as examples of how to raise Godly children, and don't polish the stories to make their families look good. Do you think your kids are going to make it easy to raise them as Christians? No, their natural bent, as well as yours and mine, is to lean towards sin. Isn't that our birthright? Our inheritance from our long ago first ancestors? And just how self-centered is this generation? I have heard from my own children that it's “all about me”. They are right. You see it everyday everywhere you look. Haven't you heard the phrase calling this the “me generation”?
Here's a statistic that hits home for me: “Some studies indicate that roughly 70 percent of children who grow up attending church with their family will walk away from church – and often God – when they become teenagers and young adults.” I can attest to that. My own teenage sons who grew up in church and both made professions of faith as kids, politely refuse to attend church any longer. Fortunately I still see the impact of what they learned in their lives through their kindness to others and their casual, unsolicited comments on faith.
You may find yourself alternately laughing and crying as you read this book, and hopefully on your knees asking God to use you to influence your children to follow Him. You will find not only practical examples of how to and not to raise your children, but also study guides at the end of chapters. And have you ever heard that the only person you can ever change is yourself? You'll find ideas for that in this book, as well. And when you change yourself and allow God to work in your own life, maybe you will be surprised that it flows through you and allows your family to want to learn to follow Him, too. Nothing, however, comes without great effort and much prayer. And unfortunately sometimes that is not enough. We all have the gift of free will. Sometimes we must endure the heartache and continue to trust God. Don't give up!
I don't want to give away the contents of this book – you are going to be in for some surprises! Talk about Biblical examples of parents in the Bible – how many of them were successful? Who were failures? You might be surprised! Take a chance, read the book, and challenge your family to a closer walk with God. And share this book with others!