More reading - and passing along the nuggets of truth to you.
I have just finished 3 books by the same author: Rob Rienow, founder (with his wife, Amy) of Visionary Parenting and Family Pastor at Wheaton Bible Church in Wheaton, IL. I have spoken with Rob about ministry and then got to meet him and hear him teach a class at his church in January.
The three books that I have read are:
God's Grand Vision for the Home
Passing the Torch (just two chapters in a multi-author book)
Visionary Parenting (if I just got one, get this one)
Here are some valuable quotes from him and some personal thoughts:
"delegation parenting" - Love this term. It is what a lot of parents in the world today, even in the church, do to get someone else to teach, train, or discipline, or even just be friends with, their kids.
"What am I doing daily with this power and responsibility to impress the hearts of my kids with a love for God?"
"We need to set the example for our kids by putting ourselves under the authority of the Bible, allowing it to speak to our hearts, and letting our kids us talk about it." Honestly, I didn't grow up with this in the home. I went to a Christian school and church, but didn't have it spoken of much in the home. Not till I went to college and built a relationship with my mentor did this become a reality to me.
"Generation after generation have failed to win the souls of their children." I have spent the last month in the Old Testament. Many times, even in those genealogies many of us skip over, it speaks of the generations and if the sons followed after the fathers. Lineage, genealogy, and faith were very important to the Israelites.
"Christians (begin) to reflect the secular culture." When did we do this? Sad but true. We do it in parenting, in clothing, in books/movies. We are called out from the world, a chosen people, a royal priesthood. Back in seminary I had a square postcard on my closet door: The Church is not called to reflect the world, but to change it.
"At the heart of the advance of the Gospel is the call to parents to impress the hearts of their children with a love for God and for His Word." How does your own life reflect this love? Not only to your children, but also to your co-workers, your extended family, and people you meet in line at the grocery store?
"No one can compete with the power a parent has to shape the heart of a child. Your power to bless your children, to build character in their hearts, and to lead them to faith in Jesus Christ." See the first quote. The last two episodes of Criminal Minds - by far my favorite show on television - has been about the influence of fathers over their sons. Powerful stuff!
"God never calls us to do something and then abandons us when we seek to be obedient." This may be helpful to you in any situation you are facing right now. I've had to remind myself of this very thing as I get anxious about some changes coming in my life. God is so much more faithful to us than we could ever be to Him. He will not leave you!
"Our kids will remember who we are at home for more than what we accomplish in our work and activities outside our home."
"One of the subtle ways the enemy pulls parents away from their primary life mission of passing faith to their children is to get them over-involved at church." Wow. This was a power statement for me.
If you are a parent, work with parents, want to be a parent, know any parents (yes, I think that could just about include everyone who reads this blog), pick up these books. I think Visionary Parenting is a good overview and very convicting. These books have great theology, are packed with personal experience, advice, and practical tips, and are loaded with Scripture.