This week’s book of the week is Raising Dad by Thom S. Rainer and Art Rainer. I am grateful to Chuck Lawless for recommending this book to me. Lawless is the dean at the Billy Graham school at Southern Seminary. His predecessor was Thom Rainer, now the president of LifeWay Christian Resources.
In conversations with Dr. Lawless concerning being a man of God, he often spoke of Dr. Rainer. I have never had the privilege to meet him, even though I have written Sunday School material for his organization. While he is one of the leading voices in church growth material, a mad-man at church research, and a great preacher, what I constantly hear about him is that he is a great husband and father.
What an honor. What a legacy.
This book was amazing. It is primarily written by his middle son, Art, recounting all the great things his father did during his rearing. At the end of each chapter, Dr. Rainer gets to rebuttal. What is amazing is that the son’s view of his father is so much higher than the father has of himself. There are so many precious jewels in this book! You read it and want to have that type of home – I recommend this book not only to dads, but to anyone wanting to improve your home life.
Art, you are a blessed son, I pray you continue to pass on the legacy. And I pray that a Kingdom blessing of Dr. Rainer’s parenting will expand through the church so that countless other families can benefit from fathers emulating his example. Well done. Finish strong.
Top 5 Lines:
- “Like many well-intended parents, I let the church and the Christian schools teach my boys the Word of God oftentimes more than I did myself. And while I am exceedingly grateful for these positive influences in their lives, they should never replace the spiritual leadership of a father” (38).
- When describing his father’s relationship with his mother: “I can’t imagine my father without her. What would he do? She is the love of his life, and so much of him is her…They need each other. Wife, friend, confidant: every type of relationship for him is in her” (43).
- “The phrase ‘good, clean fun’ appears to have a negative stigma attached to it in today’s culture…My dad was an incredible picture of how to laugh at things at which Jesus would laugh, do activities that Jesus would do, and enjoy life they way Jesus would enjoy His life” (94).
- “When he felt that his schedule was becoming too busy and he was away from home too much, he would ask us our feelings on the issue…Only rarely would one of us admit that we wished he would stay home from a trip, and when that happened, without hesitation he dropped whatever engagement was scheduled” (130).
- “And after all these things are theirs, add for me, I pray, the wisdom to show them the dubious value of titles, positions, money, and material gain; and the eternal value of prayer, the Holy Bible, a Christian home, and a saving relationship with your Son Jesus Christ” (207).