My deepest desire is to be faithful with the 3 beautiful children with which God has blessed my husband and me. My ambition is to intentionally, purposefully, and faithfully help my children become who God designed and desires them to be.
I have been recommending books for children but this week I have one for the parents. Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham Jr. is a book that has challenged the way I think about parenting J and H. I read this book for the first time in January and was immediately convicted by some of the principles that Baucham outlines. Things got a little hectic in March when H was born (for more understanding on why, read The Story of H on my blog) and I've been enjoying rereading the book. This review will only cover chapters 1-6 of the book because I am still reading the end.
When J was born, I was given a few awesome books about how to train children, namely BabyWise and Secrets of a Baby Whisperer, that I read and reread. I applied those principles with J like they were my parenting 'bible'. Family Driven Faith reminded me that while those books are not necessarily bad or evil, the thing that I should turn to for parenting questions is The Bible! Even I, as a youth pastor's wife, fall into the worldly mentality of parenting. I have read countless articles and several books on parenting that were not from a Biblical standpoint. In the end, it will be God who will judge my parenting and I want to be found faithful.
Baucham's main point is that parents should be the primary disciple-makers of their children. He reminds parents that God should be our first love and that it should be evident in the ways we live and how we spend our time. Too often children are pushed by parents into sports, academics, and/or music and those activities become their god. As parents, we need to be teaching them about who God is, what the Bible says, and we, most importantly, need to live what we teach. Baucham gives several ways to teach the Word at home and several resources to help you do so.
He has many statistics describing how our culture is doing a good job at instilling a worldly worldview and how poor of a job Christians are doing at teaching a Godly worldview to our children. They are bombarded with the world's view about life through school, sports, or other activities throughout the week and spend 1-3 hours at church trying to unlearn that view.
The point that I have been consumed by lately is found in chapter six. Baucham relates a story of how he was proud when his child obeyed while he was counting to three. He later had a friend ask "when should your child do what he or she is told?" "When I tell them" was his response. "Then why do you count?" the friend responded (pg 110). When I read this book the first time, this floored me. I was a counter and all I was doing was teaching J to obey before 3 but only if I counted. God does not count; He expects first time obedience. I was reminded of how important it is to expect that first time immediate obedience out of our children and want to do a better job of teaching J to obey. He is a very willful (and normal) 2 1/2 years old so Jon and I will have our hands full!
I will be reviewing the rest of the book in a later post, but I strongly recommend that this book be read with your husband or wife because there are lots of points in the book that will need to be discussed as a couple if you desire to apply the principles of the book and change the way your family prioritizes spiritual development. Raising children to walk with God should be our main goal as parents and Baucham has wonderfully outlined several ways to do just that.