Monday, March 2, 2015

How to Raise a Spiritual Champion: Book Review of Revolutionary Parenting

Revolutionary Parenting is a very digestible book filled with facts and stats on a sect of the population author George Barna calls "Spiritual Champions".  These are adults who were raised Christian, and who not only practice their faith, but live it.  He points out that parents have a bigger influence in the lives of their children than anyone else, and churches alone in fact don't have much influence.  Therefore he set out to examine and report on the specific parenting practices that are associated with raising children who grow to be Spiritual Champions.   In Revolutionary Parenting, he shares the research process, the research itself, and helps parent/readers to identify specific things they can be doing to help raise their children to walk in the light of Christ.

I could not possibly give you the results of his study - the How To list -  as much as I would like too.  When I reviewed 1000 Gifts,  it was pretty easy to give you the short and sweet answer to what you should do to live a more thankful and joy filled life.  Be more thankful.  But it was reading the book however that helps one come to realize HOW they can actually BE more thankful.  Barna's book on the other hand is almost a How To parenting book in a different way. You aren't transformed while reading it.  You are equipped or maybe reminded of the importance of some things you have strayed from.

This is a short (158 pages) book that is densely packed, yet easy to read.  It is practical and grounded in science.  It is well formatted with short chapters that build to the How To List.  Here are some take home points so you aren't feeling deprived.

"…every single Revolutionary Parent we interviewed agreed that the most important focus one their children's training was the development of a godly character (p46)". 

Important ares of parenting on which he expounds…

Parent provided structure with stability and continuity
Letting the church help but not lead
Focusing on character of the developing child
Being flexible and finding what works for individual children
Forming genuine relationships
Influencing friendships
Curfews and discipline
Media use
Parents acting like grown-ups
Absolute truths
A service mindset
Faith as foundational
Love as a Method
Prayer life
Choosing Christ
Positive family environment

I highly recommend this book. I don't have any sort of a star system, but suffice it to say I read it, I loved it, and it stayed with me.  It was recommended to me by another super-smart-Christian mom who loved it so much she actually BOUGHT me a copy.  If you want your own copy you can use the Amazon link on the left of my page. I will keep it up until my next book review.   Let me close with my favorite quote from Barna.  It gives you a nice flavor of his no nonsense but practical writing.

"Parenting then, is a never-ending process of learning more about God, ourselves, and how we can enhance the quality of the lives He has entrusted to us" (p133).

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