“There is no greater sorrow for Christian parents,” Rienow says, “than to know our children are not faithfully following Christ. … But there is hope, because God is still on His throne.” (9) While not a parent of adult children, Rienow has spent years in ministry and writes from that experience. He believes, “God has given parents specific guidance and direction so that we might encourage faith in the hearts of our children – no matter how old they are.” (11)
Recent surveys show that three out of four unchurched young adults were connected to a church as teens but had drifted away. “We are losing more of our own children to the world than we are winning adult converts to faith in Christ.” (18)
Children grow up in a culture steeped in moral pluralism and relativism. Based on Deut. 6:5-7, parents can pass their faith on to their children by talking “about the things of God...when we sit at home.” (36) “It is never too late for God to use us to impress the hearts of our children with a love for Jesus.” (39)
Parents assuming all responsibility for their wayward child are consumed with guilt. Parents assuming no responsibility become passive. Rienow deals with both extremes.
Rienow has spent countless hours with young adults and he believes none have rejected Christ on purely intellectual grounds. They may say that but Rienow believes there are always deeper reasons – hurt, pain, rejection, etc.
He writes about forgiveness, its necessity and the steps involved. He urges readers to apologize to their children for the things they believe they did wrong – things they would have done differently. Don't make excuses. Ask your child to forgive you.
Rienow gives an action plan for rebuilding the relationship-bridge with your child. You want honest. Be extra gentle. Seek to understand (practice biting your tongue).
He ends his book suggesting how parents can turn their child's heart to Christ, with truth and grace.
This is the best book I've read on this subject. If your adult child is not following Christ, I highly recommend you read this book. The discussion questions at the end of each chapter are great for applying the material to your personal experience.
I received a copy of this book from Kregel Publications for the purpose of this review.
Kregel Publications, 160 pages.