Matters related to the family are of great importance to me as a father and a husband. In a world with so many threats to God’s design for the family, understanding what those threats are and how to respond are vital for parents to pay attention to and apply in their homes. Voddie Baucham in his helpful book Family Driven Faith: Doing What it Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters Who Walk With God, outlines a plan of attack that is well worth noting and implementing.
Baucham begins by noting the current state of affairs. It would be an understatement to say things are not good and Baucham shares a number of facts and figures that reveal that unfortunate reality. As he so rightly notes, we live in an “Anti-marriage” and an “Anti-Child” culture. Culture desires at every turn to rail against God’s design for marriages and families. Baucham clearly reveals the current state of affairs is a war against the family that believers must begin to become engaged in fighting back against. As he so rightly notes, “God has not left us to wander aimlessly in the wilderness as we raise our children. He has given us a blueprint for multigenerational faithfulness. That blueprint is expressed throughout the Bible, but there is one place where it reads like a how-to manual. That place is Deuteronomy 6.” It is this important parenting blueprint chapter that Baucham spends the rest of this book exploring.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 has been a portion of Scripture I have returned to over and over again in recent weeks and I found the discussion of this passage by Baucham to be spot on and quite helpful. Furthermore, I appreciated Baucham sharing his own parenting and marriage experiences as it relates to this passage. Far too many parents think they are alone in this struggle. Reading the struggles and victories gained by others reveals the issues one might face are not unique. We are all fighting this same battle and reading how others worked through such events and how God’s word speaks to all areas of life to include matters of childrearing is hugely important.
Baucham begins his discussion and application of Deuteronomy 6 by noting the declaration by God that He alone is worthy of worship. He has no rival and thus the idols of this world shatter at the foot of God’s throne. I know in my own family, we readily have conversations with our teenage daughter about the allure of idols within society, in her case the latest boy band craze. Baucham reveals the answer to this issue found in Ephesians 5:15-21, specifically the command to walk wisely in a world of foolishness. This requires parents to instruct their children to spend time in God’s Word. Baucham rightly notes the need to set the example by being faithful to read Scripture in our own lives as parents. Furthermore, we are to be good stewards of our time. As parents, this means spending time with our children because they grow up so fast. Furthermore, we are to be passionate about God’s will, remembering “our children don’t belong to us – they belong to God.”
Another important issue Baucham rightly addresses is the need to teach the word of God diligently to our children. It seems many believers have become used to the Sunday School or Youth Group pastor as the mechanism by which their children learn about Scripture. While that is a vital aspect of spiritual growth, Baucham correctly notes “Moses saw the home as the principal delivery system for the transmittal of God’s truth from generation to generation. There is no hint here – or anywhere else in the Bible – of the multigenerational teaching of the truths of God being abdicated by parents in favor of “trained professionals.” That statement really hit home with me. It is the parents responsibility to teach their children diligently the things of God. This includes at home, out of the home, when we are sitting down and when we are standing up. Each and every moment is useful and profitable for teaching. This homeschooling if you will in Scripture begins by reading the Bible. While Christian books and devotional tools are useful, nothing can be a substitute for God’s Word. Of additional importance is discussing God’s Word as a family. Silent reading is fine and dandy, but Baucham rightly avers that parents should engage their children in discussion about what they are reading, helping them understand and apply what they are taking in visually.
Reading and discussing Scripture, while of the utmost importance, must be accompanied by living out God’s Word in all of life. Baucham does an excellent job of driving that point home. He aptly comments “Moses makes it clear that multigenerational faithfulness is an all-day, everyday process. We must teach our children at all times.” Since God declares in Deuteronomy 6 that parents are to teach their children all He has commanded, this means all of Scripture is in play. Thus, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 should be understood as meaning that Scripture is also a useful tool in not only in educating your children about the things of God, but also useful in all aspects of raising children. I appreciated that Baucham shared “The discipleship, discipline, and training of our children are definitely among the good works for which the Bible equips believers.”
One final aspect of this book I found helpful was Bauacham’s discussion of Deuteromony 6:9 which states “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” This means as Baucham so rightly notes, parents are to “Mark the Home as God’s Territory.” Writing God’s Word on the doorposts of the house was a symbol that God’s commands define the home and they are the foundation by which the home is built. Baucham shares in this chapter some very helpful tools for implementing family worship. Worshiping God is not something that is relegated to Sundays. We are commanded to love God and His Word at all times and at all places which includes the home. Family devotions can be a hard thing to begin and to faithfully conduct. Baucham reminds the reader “Family worship does not have to be a big production…Keep it simple.” Read the word and prayer and even sing a song of worship. Start from there and the results will be evident, that of a family that understands the importance of reading the word, prayer, worship and having Scripture as the foundation for life.
I highly recommend this book. It is highly practical, fully biblical, and sorely needed for parents dealing with the battle for the hearts and minds of their children. Fully of relevant stories the reader will connect with and replete with the tools parents need to move towards a place of a family driven faith that focuses on teaching their children the things of God at all times, this book will be of great assistance to all who implement the biblical principles contained in its pages.
This book is available for purchase from Crossway Books by clicking here.
I received this book for free from Crossway Books for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”