Today’s guest post is written by Dr. Tom Blackaby, author, speaker and International Director for Blackaby Ministries International.
The Experiencing God at Home series was really 25 years in the making. Neither Richard (my older brother) nor I felt we had any right to comment on parenting until we had been relatively successful at it ourselves! We could have mentioned the way we were raised by our parents, Henry and Marilynn Blackaby (author of Experiencing God), and say that all of their five children are well-educated, serving in ministry, and still married to their first spouses, and all of their 14 grandchildren are following God in their lives. But we wanted to be able to speak to current issues and families who face contemporary challenges. As nearly all of our six children are adults now and doing well in their lives, we decided to give in to the numerous requests to apply the Experiencing God principles to parenting.
Experiencing God at Home resources include a book for parents, one for Teenagers (7 Steps to Knowing, Doing and Experiencing God’s Will), a picture-story book for children (Sammy Experiences God), a family devotional coming out in the fall, and two Bible studies, one for Adults (Experiencing God at Home: A Bible Study for Parents) and the other for children (Kids Experiencing God at Home) all based on the “7 Realities” from Experiencing God written by our father. Readers might be interested in knowing that the two main characters (Sammy and his grandfather) in the “Sammy” book and some of the background scenes are based on actual photographs of Dr. Henry Blackaby as he is now and as he was as a boy growing up in Canada spending time at his family’s cabin at the lake. This was done in honor of our father’s life-long ministry helping people experience God in their own lives. It is so exciting to see new generations experiencing God in their own lives today.
No family is perfect, and no family has all the answers on how to raise kids. We have just found some strong biblical principles and practical suggestions for parents to use in creating a home where God is central to all they do and an outlook where seeking and serving God is normal and natural for families. We are not all called to be missionaries or to serve on staff in churches. But we are all called by God into a relationship with Him where He has access to our hearts and minds and can use us for His purposes each and every day.
Each of the resources breaks down the 7 Realities of Experiencing God practically, humorously, and with hands-on suggestions that are easy to understand and implement. Teenagers will laugh at the crazy situations the authors have encountered, children will love the pictures and adventures of Sammy, and parents will enjoy reading about our successes and failures and insights into raising godly kids.
It is our hope and prayer that many, many families, parents, teens, and children will be greatly encouraged, challenged, and inspired in their quest to know God and to create God-centered homes as they seek God together as a family.