Book Review: Visionary Parenting
Visionary Parenting: Capture a God-Sized Vision for your Family Author: Rob Rienow Pg # 140
Catching the Vision
I first was introduced to Dr. Rob Rienow at the “D6 Conference” in 2015 when I attended a breakout session he led. We came away from his talk feeling so encouraged hearing his heart for biblical discipleship and we immediately purchased two of his books to dig deeper. He is passionate and practical, down to earth and honest, full of Scripture and conviction.
“Visionary Parenting” is a brief 10 chapters (140 pages) but it packs a hard punch filled with encouragement, wisdom, conviction and reasoning for the importance and high calling of families in God’s discipleship and evangelistic plan for the world. Using Scripture, Dr. Rienow makes a strong case for the significance of the family in the spiritual transformation of generations of people and the family’s role in the Kingdom of God. Chapters cover topics such as the purpose of the family, discipline that disciples, family worship, multigenerational faithfulness, and a vision for motherhood and fatherhood and the generations to come. Each chapter concludes with thoughtful discussion and reflection questions, helping you apply and consider for your own situation how to move forward.
Pursuing the Vision
I was particularly blessed by his chapter discussing generational faith and heritage. He encourages us to see our faith in a larger picture – both reaching back (if we have Faithful parents and grandparents) to see their faith being passed down to us, and also looking into the future to see our faith being passed down to those yet unborn and the impact that can have. He unpacks the importance of “Honor your Father and Mother” even to us as adults and how to incorporate our parent’s faith into our children’s lives, connecting the generations.
I found his chapter on “Discipline that Disciples” to be motivating and convicting. He goes right to the parent’s hearts when he says: “Our struggles with discipline begin with the flaws in our own character.” He unpacks several reasons why discipline is hard….all of which point back to US and our own sin issues that we need to work through, as we seek to parent and train our children’s characters. Further, I love his reframing discipline to discipleship. Ultimately, that is what we are doing isn’t it? These are opportunities for training and discipleship in our children’s hearts and lives. Parenting is also Our Father shaping and sanctifying our own souls and character.
Eternal Weight of Parenting
If you are not yet convinced of the importance of your role as a parent in the lives and faith of your children, or the way the Lord wants to use you as a Mother or Father…this book is definitely for you! If you are already convinced and desiring to grow in this God-given role, this book is a must read! If you are struggling to see the significance of the work required of you day in and day out, if you are tired and weary, if parenting hasn’t turned out to be all you thought it would be….I urge you to check this book out and find encouragement and conviction in these pages. I think this message needs to reach parents…What you do matters: there is eternal significance to your family and to the children entrusted to your care. Your discipleship of your children has the potential to impact generations to come…weather for the good or for the bad. Your influence and your work in the lives of your children carry an eternal weight.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children.” Deuteronomy 6:5-7a