I really, really liked this book.
When a Barna poll suggests that 7 out of 10 children from evangelical homes leave the faith by their freshmen year of college, it seems that we are all doing something wrong. That's the basic premise of his book. We're not accomplishing what we want to, namely raising our sons and daughters to know and love the Lord Jesus Christ. Sure, our homes might be decent, where we give God our Sundays, even Wednesdays, but the other 5 or 6 days He's not even on our radar screen.
It is encouraging to see someone articulate what I believe about so many things, but he does it in a way that doesn't make me feel like the biggest loser if I've had trouble implementing some element of family discipleship. Baucham presents the case for a realistic solution to keeping our children in the faith: read them the Bible. Pray with them and for them. Take them to church and make it your first priority. Teach them Truth in every area of their education, whether it's within the context of a Christian school or a homeschool. Answer their spiritual questions honestly. In other words, form within them a biblical worldview so that when they leave your home they continue to cast situations through that lens. You might have a home with plenty of rules about media, clothing, dating, etc. but once your children leave home if all they've ever heard is what to do and not to do, but they've had no encounter with the Living Christ who has written His Word on their hearts, then they're going to go off the deep end. Our hearts are naturally inclined toward evil. When our son is off at college and there's no one to tell him not to let his girlfriend spend the night, what's he going to do? That's where a worldview becomes so important. I know there are people out there who have written better about this than I have, but these truths make me shake in my boots for my beautiful children and force me to my knees!
I will admit that there are some issues in the book that can be so counter-cultural, especially counter-church cultural, that it has forced me to seriously wrestle with how I view the role of the church in the spiritual training of my family. The church is essential, but it's also a more supporting role. I already agree that Sunday School, the origin of which was to evangelize the children of parents who weren't Christians, isn't enough spiritual food for my children. I already agree that the youth pastor's job isn't to teach my children all they need to know about Jesus. God gives parents the job of teaching Truth. My trouble is that I cannot imagine having my 8 year old, my 5 year old, and my 1 year old all together with me for Sunday morning worship. I might feel differently if I had my husband with me (remember, he's pretty tied up on Sunday morning). I know moms who can do it. But am I one of them???