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So much of our parenting advice these days comes from the realm of psychology more readily than from God's Word. If His ways are higher than ours (Is. 55), why do we think we can figure it out on our own...and get it right?
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?
For parents looking for a genuine friend and guide, you'll find what you're looking for in Visionary Parenting. In this book, Rob Rienow shares his journey through repentance to a God-sized vision for his family. He rests this vision on a strong biblical foundation and provides a practical way for you to begin picturing God's bigger plan for your life and the lives of those under your care.
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.
My kids are 7 and 9 and I wish I had read this book earlier, but I'm thankful I read it now. This book gives us a vision of what it means for parents to disciple their children to become followers of Jesus. My two favorite chapters are the one on family worship and the one on the role of dads.
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.
Here is a book that is motivational and needed in the church today. It is a quick read but one that you will read over again because of the power in it. God has used this book in changing me as a pastor to have a better handle on being a dad! If you are married and especially if you are a father, PLEASE read this book. This can change your family forever and make a major impact on the world around you. I started with buying 6 of these books for some of my friends in the ministry. I will be buying a case of these books to give away and challenge men on what could happen if they got a God-sized vision for their family.
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.
My wife and I joined a handful of couples in studying this book. Rienow provides some useful methods for intentional parenting. It is so easy to become lax and inconsistent as a parent, but this text allows some areas to put focus on. The thrust of the text is that parents should look longer term at what you hope for your kids which is in contract to reactionary or passive parenting. I recommend this book to read with your spouse.
Have enjoyed hearing Rob speak in person several times & reading his books is the next best thing. He has a passion for marriages & families and great Biblical insight on how to create a multi-generational legacy of faith... Highly recommend both Visionary Parenting & Visionary Marriage and also the free resources on the Visionary Family website.