When I sat down to pen this review, I first searched Amazon.com for Christian books on parenting. I thought it would be a good idea to take a quick survey of other books that are out there. It turns out that a search on “Christian” and “parenting” books on Amazon yields over 4,500 titles! I perused the first 10 pages of results; I didn’t have time to look further. I’ve read several of those books – either as part of my graduate school studies in Marriage and Family Counseling or for my own growth as a parent. I was even tempted to buy a couple of other recent releases that looked interesting. So, with such a large selection of parenting books available from a Christian perspective, why am I writing a review on this one? And why do I think you should buy it?
I recommend Real World Parents: Christian Parenting for Families Living in the Real World primarily because I know the author. Mark approaches real world parenting from three critical fronts. He writes as the grateful product of parents who raised four successful, godly men. He writes as a twenty-year veteran of youth ministry, serving teenagers, parents and youth workers on a daily basis. And he writes as a parent-practitioner himself – in the trenches as the parent of a teenager and a pre-teen. Real World Parents is literally the product of forty years’ experience in proactive, intentional, kingdom-focused parenting. When Mark talks about communicating to our kids a worldview that supports right actions, I know that Mark understands this worldview and how to communicate it to kids. And when he talks about living in God’s storyline, I know that Mark speaks as one who lives in that storyline himself and has successfully led others to do so as well.
But I also commend Real World Parents to you for what it isn’t and for what it is. It’s not a how-to book on how to raise well-behaved kids. And it’s not a book decrying our messed-up culture, thus invoking fear of the formidable task before us as parents. I noticed quite a few of those in my research, if that’s the parenting book you seek. Instead, Real World Parents is a biblically-informed and culturally-relevant guide to help parents and kids live intentionally as Christ’s ambassadors in the real world. If you want to raise children to have a biblical worldview and to appropriately engage culture to the glory of God, you’ll need the wisdom that Mark provides in this timely, easy-to-read book.