This book is for you if... you want to raise passionate Jesus followers, you lead children, youth, or families in developing their faith, you want both theoretical and practical advice for raising children in the Christian faith
My Thoughts: I do not yet have children, so my responses and thoughts to this book can only be hypothetical at this point, but serving as a children’s pastor includes the responsibility of equipping and resourcing the parents in my ministry. So this was a great tool to read to see if it would be worth passing on to families, and it definitely is!
The Comers share their experiences (both the wins and the failures) as parents of 4 children, and their advice includes everything from the theoretical to the practical to the Scriptural. The book is divided into 4 stages of life: early childhood, late childhood, the teenage years, and young adulthood (yes, the Comers claim that wise parenting extends past high school graduation). They even discuss how to let go gracefully once children do become adults, and they compare each stage to the process of building a house. This analogy provides a concrete and simple explanation of the extensive and complicated process of raising children.
One concept that will stick with me is the concept of “The Box.” At first I was a little wary of this idea (who wants to think about putting their kids in a box) but as they explained how it works, it grew on me. The box helps discipline children, adjusting for each stage, with the foundation of Jesus, within the confines of order and discipline, and topped with affirmation, encouragement, and prayer. The Comer’s description of the unique and yet complementary roles of both parents in the home also provided a new perspective on parenting.
The book did seem very behavior modification focused, but it’s hard not to be when you’re also providing practical techniques.
Each section concludes with a concise overview or review of the main ideas for that stage, and the amount of Scripture used throughout the book to support their parenting ideas helped their practices make sense. I also appreciated that the book reminds readers that it does not provide a fool-proof formula that guarantees you’ll raise children following hard after God. And the biggest factor in raising passionate Jesus followers? When the parents are passionate Jesus followers themselves!
Raising Passionate Jesus Followers is a book to read before becoming a parent and to keep on hand as you parent children from birth to adulthood. I know I’ll definitely keep it handy and refer back to it at each stage of my future children’s lives. Even without children yet, my husband and I were able to use some of the tools in the book to dream about out future family and spark some great conversations.
Christian parents do not automatically spawn Christian children, and it takes intentional parenting to teach kids to experience God and love people well. Raising Passionate Jesus Followers by Phil and Diane Comer provides the closest thing to an effective and comprehensive flow chart for raising children who not only profess a faith, but actually possess real faith.
Order your own copy of the book here.
Thanks to One Nine Images for allowing me to use your photos for some of the favorite quotes pictures!
*I received a free advanced reader’s copy of this book in exchange for sharing an honest review. Thanks to Handlebar Publishing for the opportunity.