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Building Kingdom Families: A Biblical Approach--Seminar 1: Building Obedience into Your Child (DVD) Review by Donna Campos

Robert Andrews
Gospel Parenting
3330 Beck Road
Rice, WA 99167

This training is the first of three DVD seminars available through Gospel Parenting and taught by Robert Andrews, author of the book The Family: God's Weapon for Victory. The seminar consists of five sessions on three discs, and it comes with a corresponding workbook. Disc One includes Session One, "Your Child as Your Influence in the Next Generation" (50 minutes), and Session Two, "Child Training: Understanding the Task" (59 minutes). Disc Two includes Session Three, "Learning Obedience: The Foundation of an Effective Warrior" (1 hour 2 minutes), and Session Four, "Teaching the Family Standards" (37 minutes). Disc Three includes Session Five, "Capturing the Heart of the Next Generation's Warrior" (38 minutes). The accompanying workbook is a 48-page spiral-bound book with a glossy cardstock cover. For each session there is an outline, first in basic form and then in an expanded fill-in-the-blank format. There are also discussion questions and pages for note taking. The discussion questions in the workbook are different from the ones in the DVD seminar, which was taped with a live audience.

The seminar is intended to help parents discipline children biblically, and it is specifically intended for homeschoolers. The Gospel Parenting company encourages homeschooling, as can be seen from its website: "Robert feels that there is no more important task today than winning the battle for the minds of our children. Home educators are the most important warriors in that battle, the heroes in the culture war. It is from this conviction that Gospel Parenting was born. Its mission is to help parents equip their children to extend the rule of Jesus Christ into the next generation."

From the start, Robert Andrews draws in the viewer. He is very encouraging to homeschoolers and even presents a Scriptural basis for homeschooling. He stresses that "arrows" (our children) were not made to be admired. They were made to be released! The sessions include many "gems," as we like to call them, that will help homeschooling families make sense of the task before them. Be aware that Mr. Andrews does advocate spanking, which is admittedly a controversial method of discipline, even among Christians. This seminar gets to the heart of the matter with Scripture and excellent guidance from a seasoned parent who sought after God when instructing his own children. He uses personal anecdotes and openly admits his own failures and inconsistencies. He explains that physical discipline leads to external obedience, which is a step toward the ultimate goal of internal obedience. He further explains how disciplining with angry words breaks the spirit, whereas physical discipline (not with anger, but with control and the intent to guide) breaks the will. He consistently provides Scripture references to support and clarify his position.

As far as negatives, at one point the term "colored people" was used in reference to non-Western Evangelicals (in contrast to Caucasians), but we perceived this to be simply a generational issue on the part of Mr. Andrews. Also, the discussion time that followed each session was not as helpful as it could have been. The viewer could not actually see the people in the audience who were speaking, and the voices were muffled. It would have been better if they had passed a microphone to each speaker, or at the very least Mr. Andrews could have repeated each question or statement made by audience members. Some viewers may find the presentation of the seminar to be a bit dry, as the lectures do not include Power Point or any other visual supports, but the information remains excellent.

I am thrilled with this seminar! Much of the information "hit home" for us. Our parenting has already improved in our home, as has the behavior of our children, one of whom was quickly becoming defiant. I would have to say that the major light bulb moment for me was the explanation of the authority "chain of command." When truly understood, this concept can make all the difference in our understanding of not only our children's behavior, but also our own behavior before a loving God. I highly recommend Seminar 1 from Robert Andrews and Gospel Parenting. It will give parents a better grasp of their God-given task of parenting warriors for Christ.

Product review by Donna Campos, Senior Product Reviewer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December 2009