Thursday, October 11, 2012

{Book Review} Raising Your Kids to Love the Lord by Dave Stone (Rated 3/5)

You've heard it. You know it. Children learn from what they see their parents doing. But it's easy to forget this vital truth. Here's a practical book that reminds us of all the truths we probably already know... but often let slip to the back of our mind.

After reading Pastor Dave Stone's book Raising Your Children To Love the Lord - I was torn about how to rate it.

Although full of practical advice, tips and examples for raising godly children, frankly, this book just does not delve deep enough, spiritually.

Sometimes, the advice in the book seems merely "moralism" though and not true Christianity (Christ-following). For example, in the section on dads - great points:
1. Love their mom
2. Teach respect
3. Make memories
4. Give spiritual direction
5. Encourage your kids
6. Invest quality time

Good points, right? But... even including #4, what about this is any different than a parent who is, say, Jewish or Muslim? It's good morality, but not distinctively Christian. And... while I read these points, I could immediately think of Bible verses that would definitely support these tips. But none of these verses were included in the text at all!!!

And therein lies another criticism I have of this book - if you're writing a book about teaching kids to love the Lord - doesn't that come from loving the Word of God? Therefore, wouldn't you want to include SOME scripture to back up what you're saying? (I'm not saying it needs to be whole chapters, but maybe each chapter or section could have a key verse listed?).

Now, I have no doubt the author, as a pastor, COULD have included more Scripture - so, it makes me wonder why he didn't.

Also, surprisingly missing from the book was discussion about leading your children to Christ. Teaching them about the grace of God leading them to repentance. About how salvation does not come through following a list of do's and don't's. About true repentance and throwing yourself upon the mercy of a loving God and not resting in your own righteousness (which, I'm afraid a list of do's and don't's often leads to!).

Now, perhaps that's because the author assumes that if you "raise your kids to love the Lord" this will happen somewhere along the way. Or, perhaps since this book is one of a trio, this topic is covered in one of the other books? I will try to give the benefit of the doubt here. But... how can a child "love the Lord" when they have not learned of the Lord as their Savior? One wonders.

As a piece of writing - it's smooth, clear, and filled with enjoyable anecdotes, and it's written from a Christian/Protestant perspective. I did appreciate the tender, loving tone. Certainly, it's a clear overview of practical parenting, and the main positive take-away for me was to remember to be intentional about how I parent.

I am giving this book just three stars, because I feel it is "lightweight." It's great as a gift-able book, or for parents who are new Christians, or perhaps not raised with a Christian heritage or strong Bible background. This, then, would be the perfect quick read for new believers to start to employ Biblical truths for raising kids.

However, I think any parent who has been raised in a Christian home/school/church their entire life, the tips and points in the book - while all  true and necessary - will seem rather obvious.

I'm just saying it wasn't all I was hoping for in a Christian parenting book. Had there been more depth, and more Scripture backup, I would have given this book a higher rating.

What do you look for in a Christian parenting book? Do you have any you'd recommend?

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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