We all want great things for our children. For believers, chief among the great things we could wish for would be for our children to walk with God—to grow to trust him, love him, prize him above all things. I, for one, don’t want my kid to have a dramatic story about how he rebelled, went crazy, and then got saved. I want him to say, “I can’t remember not loving God and trusting in Christ.”
But nobody can deny that the family is in decline all over, including the church. Lots of kids who grow up in the church leave it as soon as they leave home. How do we fix that? That’s the question Voddie Baucham takes up in his new book Family Driven Faith: Doing What it Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters who Walk with God. Baucham, a popular evangelist and apologist, delivers a wake-up call to parents, reminding of them of their responsibility to train their children in the faith.
Baucham is unflinching when it comes to calling out believers for following worldly trends rather than Scripture. In our attitudes toward marriage and children, he says, the church is only a few years behind the rest of the world. God’s design, though, is for the home to be the first ground for believers to be trained. He demands first place in our homes, and it is the parents’ responsibility to give him that place. Family Driven Faith gives advice for striving toward this goal, including teaching our kids the Word, fostering a biblical worldview, and worshipping as a family. Baucham’s boldness is refreshing and convicting, and he doesn’t hesitate to use himself and his family as negative as well as positive examples. He casts a lofty vision for the Christian family, but his “Take Action” steps at the end of each chapter keep things practical as well.
This is a good book with a couple of weak points. Baucham is by trade an apologist, so he can be forgiven for a couple of lectures that take the reader off the beaten path, including a several-page excursus on a Christian worldview vs. secular humanism. (This was actually quite good, but distracted somewhat from the point of the book.) He also has some hobbyhorses, most notably homeschooling and “family-integrated” church ministry. His arguments for both are credible, but they seem to keep popping up, and again were somewhat distracting.
This book is a great start to being more intentional about leading a Christian family. I will especially be recommending it to other young fathers, as it is strong in commending the father’s leadership in the family’s walk with God. Baucham is encouraging in his tone, and he is thoroughly biblical without neglecting practical ideas. Most importantly, he doesn’t reduce Family Driven Faith to a simple method to guarantee a happy home. This is a gospel-centered approach to family life, and a great addition to the many good books coming out recently on “raising sons and daughters who walk with God.”