Book Review: Running with The Horses

I’ve had this one sitting on my nightstand for a couple of months. I’m actually glad that I waited until the week of Christmas to read it. The timing is perfect as this period of Christmas and the New Year always brings time to reflect and plan for the year(s) ahead. Running with The Horses by Dr. Larry Taylor really spoke to the heart of what Clint and I have been consumed with ever since we first brought Emma home from the hospital and Eli home from Ethiopia. The Lord has trusted our precious children to us for a purpose and that is for them to know Him and make Him known. I’m so grateful that both Emma and Eli have come to the point of salvation and chosen Christ as their Savior. We are seeing fruit in their lives and also recognizing that they…and we, as their parents…have a lot of room to grow.

I really appreciate Taylor’s perspective as we have a similar calling to Christian education and investing in the students that the Lord has entrusted to our leadership…but only after we intentionally lead our own children. Taylor is the Head of School at Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas and was recently named the President of the Association for Christian Schools International that my school belongs to. I’ve had the privilege of meeting Dr. Taylor on multiple occasions and sitting in conferences and other sessions that he has led. More importantly, I have friends that work for Dr. Taylor who speak highly of his leadership and integrity.

One thing that really stood out to me about this book that differentiated it from others is that there were several places where Taylor encouraged parents to jump in wherever they are in parenting. He also never gave the perspective that he and his wife were perfect parents. In fact, he regularly shared some things that he should have approached differently with one son or the other. His tone is writing is encouraging and helpful. In addition to giving a great vision for Christian parenting, this book is also full of practical resources.

I highlighted several things while reading and have posted those notes below…

  • It is my belief, that in order to counteract our culture’s impact on our children and to produce biblically literate and confident disciples of Christ, we need only to look to Jesus’ own training method.  His plan was defined, deliberate, and deep.  He understood the task ahead of Him, He created situations to produce depth in His follower’s belief system, and He was deliberate—using common, relevant examples to permanently engrave His teaching upon their hearts.  These three principles established by Christ should serve as the foundation for raising our children. p. xii
  • Defining the Race, Creating a Deliberate Plan, and Developing Depth p. xii
  • If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out, Then how can you compete with horses?  If you fall down in a land of peace, How will you do in the thicket of the Jordan? Jeremiah 12:5 NASB p. 1
  • “While we do need to fear what our kids could be tempted to do, we need to be more concerned with what our kids are led to believe.” -Josh McDowell p. 7
  • These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk fo them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 NASB p. 9
  • Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13 NIV p. 12
  • What constitutes an Acts 17 disciple?
    • Paul was not afraid of the world
    • Paul understood the importance of taking every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5)
    • Paul developed discernment by “practicing” (Hebrews 5:14)
    • Paul developed the attitude of Christ (Philippians 2:2-11), knowing that he was to love and serve Christ p. 16
  • The emotional closeness between the parent and child and its influence on the transmission of core values is the primary key to passing on your faith. p. 40
  • Family rituals need to be guarded from anything that is of lesser importance—including work. p. 43
  • The TRAININGing model:
    • Transcendent Purpose
    • Reverence for God
    • Aiming Arrows by a “3-D” Discipline Strategy
      • Biblical Discipline = Discipline + Discernment + Direction
    • Internal Strength, Balance, and Resolve
    • Necessary Life Practices p. 53
  • “Therefore, your parenting goal cannot simply be well-behaved children…your concern is to unmask your child’s sin, helping him/her to understand how it reflects a heart that has strayed.  That leads to the cross of Christ.  It underscores a need for a Savior.” Ted Tripp, Shepherding a Child’s Heart p. 58
  • How is biblical discipline administered?
    • By consistently separating a child’s behavior into one of two categories—a willfully disobedient act or a thoughtless disobedient act
    • By consistently demonstrating a calm, under control, and empathetic reaction
    • By consistently allowing your children to own the consequences of their choices p. 61
  • So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted, and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.  See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:6-8 NIV p. 97
  • A family without discussions rarely will grow deeper in its faith.  This is especially true as our kids get older. p. 112
  • Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 ESV p. 122

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