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Visionary Parenting: Capture a God-Sized Vision for Your Family Paperback – May 22, 2018
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Rob encourages parents to consider our primary goal to be the discipleship of our children and ways to not only live our faith before them but to bring them along on the journey.
"The world does not need more smart people, more athletic people, more musical people, or more artistic people. Those are all fine things. However, the world needs people who love Jesus Christ more than anything else." Will your family parent with a vision for generations of Christ followers?
In the first four chapters, Rienow encourages you to take a step back and reflect on your life as a parent as he did when he began this transformation. You'll be reminded of your God-given power over the hearts of your children. The authentic community so many are looking for can be found right in our own homes. "It is the primary environment where faith and character are formed and shaped." If our schedules are preventing time with the family, the schedules need to change. If the family is disconnected from extended family, we need to forge reconciled relationships. These breakdowns in the family are simply reflected in the struggle of the local church. It's also the starting point for the way our children view God and His family. Rienow reveals an understanding of the difficult histories and relationships within the family, but he also provides godly insight on the path forward.
In the middle section, Rienow provides a fresh vision for a loving home. Creating a safe home for children to grow, be trained, and have hope in God's loyal love is the theme. Yet, it requires parents to come to an understanding of how God parents us as opposed to comparing ourselves to our peers. A safe home involves a counter-culture father who is willing to follow God and set the tone for the relationship with his wife and his children. Amy Rienow explains that a safe home also involves a mother who is committed to God as her first love and views her home as "the training ground for the future marriages" of her children. Of course, the people in the family not only need to be the right people, but they also need to do life together with intentionality.
The last part of the book gives a helpful perspective on intentional family life. Rienow gives a practical look at family worship and its priority in the life of a visionary family. He also paints a biblical picture of discipline in the home. "Every single discipline situation you face is an opportunity to lead your child toward being a more devoted follower of Jesus Christ." As such, he uses the term "discipleship" instead of "discipline" to remind him of his desire to move beyond behavior to connect the hearts of his children to the gospel.
Rienow finishes the book with an incredible vision for what multi-generational faithfulness would look like in his family. As he does, you can't help but begin dreaming God-sized dreams for your family. After reading Visionary Parenting, you'll come away encouraged, equipped and confident of God's purpose and plan for the life of your family.
Family worship has become so archaic that it's easy to dismiss the idea as a relic we've have outgrown. This book makes a great argument for its value and provides and points to resources that will make it easy to pull off.
The role of dads in the spiritual development of our kids is, of course, not original, but Rob Rienow gives an inspiring call to us fathers to rise to this crucial calling. Something great happens in a family spiritually when the father becomes energized with a passion to model and teach Jesus in his home. If the dads (including this one) of this country would learn to consistently shepherd their family with love and grace and creativity, the alarming statistics that we read now about children of Christians leaving the faith would radically change.
This is a great book.
There are many things that we can persue in this life. Many are substitutes and distractions from that which could be so exciting to be a part of. Don't miss out on what God wants to do in and through your family. I would love to see every dad read this book and put it to practice. Thanks Rob for writing it, God has used you to change me.
Top international reviews
Rob Rienow's material is rooted in Biblical principles and earthed in his own experience as a parent and families' pastor in Wheaton Bible Church, Illinois.
This new book complements the DVD strand well but is not simply a rewrite of the course.
Rienow uses examples from his own home and often concedes that he is not yet the perfect parent! But his honesty, allied with a great appreciation of God's valuation on family life, combine to make this a valuable resource that each parent should keep close by.
Buy one for yourself and one for a friend. They'll thank you for it.