Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Book Review - Discipleship in the Home

 The leader/founder of the home group that we attend recommended this book for the men, when we were meeting weekly at Bob Evans at 6am (sick, I know).  It's a fairly short book, but long enough to be effective at relaying the author's ideas.  The basic premise behind it is to relay the deliberate and extensive effort by Mr. Friedman to determine which values and knowledge to teach and instill into his children, and how to actively attempt to accomplish it.  As a parent, it seems to me like it's easy to feel like I'm in survival mode and trying hard enough to take care of the kids, the "stuff", ourselves (if/when possible), and maybe encourage the kids to take some extra-curricular activities.  But this book helped to persuade me how effective it can be in determining which goals to help your children pursue and then being extensive and purposeful in planning their success, as much as possible anyway.

I don't agree with all of the specific items on his list of things to teach/train to his kids (some seemed geared to aggressively push the kids into a position of ministry), but I really like his simple yet brilliant idea of being intentional about being engaged in teaching/learning/guiding.  In addition to these useful ideas, I enjoyed (and am still enjoying) Appendix 2 of the book, which is the "Hidden in the Heart" Catechism.  Here he provides a list of 126 basic, essential theological and family-oriented questions to discuss with your kids to help them commit basic Christian premises to heart/memory.  I'm trying to periodically ask one or two at dinnertime, as a way to not only provide an interesting dinner table discussion, but also to help them grow spiritually/mentally.

This book wasn't the most exciting I've read, nor was it a theological revelation, but I think Mr. Friedeman's ideas have the ability to utilize your children's potential in a way that not much else can.

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