- File Size: 17764 KB
- Print Length: 288 pages
- Publisher: Focus on the Family (March 1, 2017)
- Publication Date: March 1, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01I5J2QGS
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#284,993 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #21 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Parenting & Relationships > Family Relationships > Grandparenting
- #91 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Parenting & Relationships > Family Relationships > Parent & Adult Child
- #129 in Books > Parenting & Relationships > Family Relationships > Grandparenting
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Abandoned Faith: Why Millennials Are Walking Away and How You Can Lead Them Home Kindle Edition
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Abandoned Faith, assigning cause, guilt, shame and blame on parents, the culture, the church, and devices, bemoans the problem, but neglects to share a detailed strategy for success. Everyone and every institution, thinks and justifies that they are doing a good job with the Gospel and there are many ways to share. When something goes awry, we beat ourselves up, get defensive, or make excuses ("maybe they were never really saved" - I really dislike this one. It's judgmental and only God knows each heart). In fact, we all need forgiveness from the messes we consistently, but mostly accidentally make, because we are human. The book provides a rote prayer "primer" for its key audience of Christian parents who have probably been Believers for decades. Too much preaching of obvious information. Rather, a detailed instruction to conduct prayer with spiritual warfare would have been more useful (teaching that is generally not taught in the mainstream local churches). We are in a war, after all for souls.
Naturally, parents must lovingly pursue their children and the grandchildren, who struggle to fill the holes in their souls that sin has created. Emptiness, sadness, and disconnectedness is at the core. Don't we all know what that feels like! Let us share the stories and the hope of something new, opening up fresh channels of relationship with our adult children, bringing blessings to the entire family. We have lots in common, and especially when they start to suffer, they start to listen (just like us).
We must exhaust ourselves with the burden of prayer, repentance, unconditional love, warfare and relationship - opening up the best opportunity for the Lord to move, and we win the prodigals, and their children, and others who they will touch, to Jesus our Saviour through His Love, Power and Grace - in the power of the Holy Spirit - to the Glory of God the Father.
Kudos to authors who stick out their necks, dealing with this thorny issue; if readers don't get offended by the tone and emphasis on parent fault and guilt, it at least invites a dialogue where iron can sharpen iron.
I purchased this book from Amazon after seeing it advertised on the Charisma website; I have never read these authors; no one asked me to review it.
In a sense, Abandoned Faith is a "horse out of the barn" book. In spite of the authors' encouraging words to the contrary, I could see some parents reading this with regret and despair, wishing they had some something differently. But it's not too late. Just as parents' examples influence young children, so can they continue to do so: "When parents strive to model a pattern of Christianity to their millennial children, those children are far more likely to follow in their parents' footsteps. . . . There is nothing more compelling and persuasive than a parent living out his or her faith with great boldness and conviction." (xiv)
The flip side, and what may discourage parents, is the obvious link between their own failures and their children's loss of faith. McFarland and Jimenez put it in sociological terms: "Prior to the mass exodus of millennials from the church, there was a mass exodus of fathers leaving their families. Before millennials stopped attending church, their fathers had already stopped making church a priority. Before the doubts took hold of millennials, fear and doubt were already embedded in their parents' lives." (35) If Mom and Dad aren't going to church, they should not be surprised when Junior opts out as well. What they want to see is faith that makes a difference in their parents' lives, actions and attitudes, reflecting their stated beliefs. "The compelling proof millennials truly seek is found in an authentic life." (60)
One way that even committed parents can drive their children away is to try too hard and be too controlling. Some parents "think that by enabling their kids, they are doing them a favor. . . . Millennials raised by enabling parents are far more likely to rebel, abandon church, and hang with the wrong crowd." (17) We want to smooth the road for our kids, and sometimes try to do too much.
McFarland and Jimenez's advice for the fixer-upper parent is to repeat this mantra: "When I interfere, my child will not persevere." (195)
Abandoned Faith won't give distraught parents a magic bullet. I don't want to minimize the amount of research and sound guidance they offer, but the best takeaway from the book is simply to love much, be patient, and model grace. Jimenez gives an acrostic for "what every member of the family needs." L.O.V.E. Laugh. Open. Value. Encourage. If a house is full of laughter, if relationships are honest and open, if children feel valued, and if parents abound in encouragement for their children our homes will be much better places.
It's hard not to read a book like this without regret. I'm about to send my oldest son to college, and can think of many ways I've failed him and opportunities missed. I would imagine every parent has similar feelings, whether sending their child to preschool, college, or anywhere in between. Abandoned Faith is descriptive, but also encouraging for those of us who have regrets. It offers good news and encouragement for moving forward. Love your kids more. Value and cherish them. Pray for them--this especially. I was moved and challenged.
Thanks to the Tyndale Blog Network for the complimentary review copy!
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