For the last couple of months I have put off reading a book by Voddie Baucham Jr. I sometimes do this when I suspect that a) the book will bore me, or b) the book will hugely convict me and challenge my current habits.
I had put Baucham’s book, ‘Family Driven Faith’ in the latter category. Whatever weight the book relieved me of as a pastor was counter balanced by the responsibility he placed on me as a husband and father. The book begins with what I would regard as an accurate diagnosis of our current predicament:
Our children are not falling away because the church is doing a poor job–although that is undoubtedly a factor. Our children are falling away because we are asking the church to do what God has designed the family to accomplish.
Ouch!!! Voddie Baucham’s assertions are carefully measured and entirely drawn from the pages of Scripture. When Baucham makes an observation from experience, he is careful to note that in distinction to what the Bible requires.
One of my favourite sections in the book is where Baucham distinguishes between shaping our children’s worldview and giving them rules. It’s not enough to say ‘We don’t do this’ or ‘We don’t do that because we are Christians’–or even ‘because the Bible says so.’ We need to do more than parrot the commands of Scripture; we need to explain them. By explaining why the commands of Scripture exist, by reasoning them with our children, we shape their worldview and we help them to think biblically. This is critical because, as Baucham notes:
(my children) will do what I tell them as long as I am around. But once they leave home, they will live in accordance with their worldview, not my rules. Thus I must spend as much time shaping and molding their thinking.
In other words, rules do little more than temporarily fence our children in. If, however, we shift our priority to shaping our children’s worldview, we will find that their desire to go beyond the limits of the ‘fence’ will be greatly diminished.
I commend this book to every husband, wife, parent and church leader. This book will do more than shape your viewpoint, it will inspire a tangible response. This book exposed a lot of my shortcomings as a husband and father, and that’s ok….I want to be better. This book is a huge help. Thanks Voddie.