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Romancing Your Child's Heart Review by Maggi Beardsley

By Monte Swan with Dr. David Biebel

Romancing Your Child's Heart is book about relationship building between parents and their children. It is an inspirational book for homeschooling parents. The book has thirteen chapters divided into two parts: "Romancing your child: the vision" and "Romancing your child: the strategy."

The phrase "romancing their hearts" was developed by Monte's wife, Karey, in her book Hearth and Home, where she wrote about filling our daily life "with God's love and words" so that we lead our children's hearts heavenward. "Like a courtship," she wrote, "we are romancing their hearts." In the introduction to Romancing Your Child's Heart Monte writes: "The key to winning the hearts of our children is the often overlooked biblical concept of romance--not the world's concept, but God's. He sent Jesus Christ to earth not to storm our hearts but to woo us and draw us to Himself, winning our uncompelled love . . . We look past behavior to the heart; we look past symptoms to the cause; we turn isolated events into shared, romance-enhancing experiences that connect to something larger than ourselves." When describing the book, Dennis Rainey, Executive Director of FamilyLife Ministries, wrote, "I can woo my children into a love relationship that points them to Christ." That sums up the book. Monte explains why we as parents should romance our child and how we can do it. He suggests that many Christian parents have diligently tried to protect their children, taught them biblical doctrine, and trained them in proper Christian behavior; but the children chose "the way of fools." If you have seen this happen to a young person, you will enjoy reading this book.

A few years back I heard Monte Swan speak at a homeschooling convention. I don't remember what the topic was, but I do remember thinking that he and my son could be best friends. He seemed to understand children well. Some children's hearts are won because they take pleasure in pleasing their parents. They follow the rules, read their Bibles, make a confession of faith, and begin to test it out without any major mishaps. Other children need to be loved on their own terms, in their own choice of environment, before they are willing to believe that God, the author of love, desires an everlasting relationship with them. Romancing Your Child's Heart teaches the parent how to develop that love. I loved the stories that Monte included from his child-rearing years, both good and bad.

If your child obeys without question and is the perfect example of a well-trained child, then this book is not for you. But if your child is not in a thriving relationship with Jesus, then maybe Romancing Your Child's Heart will help you lead your child to begin that relationship.

I found the book to be a bit wordy at times. It was not a book that I could read in one evening. It sat on my nightstand, and I read a chapter every night. I had hoped that the book would be more conversational in style.

Overall I found Romancing Your Child's Heart a refreshing book. I had a parenting style all mapped out before my first child was born. But I discovered that if I continued down that path, my child might turn out to be a law-abiding citizen but he would not have a citizenship in heaven. He would be lost. Monte Swan's thoughts on wooing a child to Christ were inspiring: "Our hope is that our child will fly straight and true to the heart of Jesus." He concludes his introduction with "Nothing is more important for parents than winning our child's heart for Christ." I completely agree with him.

-Product review by: Maggi Beardsley, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2008.