The Most Important Place on Earth
By Chris Carpenter
CBN.com - When you consider
what are the most important place on Earth you likely think of
a location that holds some sort of prominence either spiritually,
politically, or for its sheer beauty. For Christians it is likely
the cradle of Jesus Christ, the Holy Land. Those who are politically
astute might say Washington, D.C., Beijing, or Moscow. Nature
lovers would probably offer up the Great Barrier Reef, Mt. Everest,
or the Grand Canyon as their choices. But according to author
Robert Wolgemuth, the most important place on Earth is at the
end of your driveway. He says it is a Christian home.
In his latest book,
“The Most Important Place on Earth: What a Christian Home
Looks Like and How to Build One” (Thomas Nelson Publishers),
Wolgemuth guides parents through 226 pages to the most important
truth – that Christian homes need to be different. He says
they need to stand out prominently in communities and neighborhoods
across the land as bastions of truth, honesty, but above all,
While many would argue that the church is the most important
place on earth, Wolgemuth disagrees. The veteran author of 17
books says that if you asked any youth pastor in America he would
tell you that the home is by far the most critically important
place for your children.
“When you have a church where there are kids attending
whose parents aren’t doing what they are supposed to be
doing at home, you have a troubled kid,” Wolgemuth explained
in a recent interview with CBN.com. “A kid can be saved
out of that and obviously that is a wonderful experience of grace
but what I am saying is that even Christian parents are consigning
the spiritual leadership of their children to the professionals
and they are missing out on what really is their responsibility
As Wolgemuth was preparing to write this book, a quote from noted
Boston College professor Dr. Alan Wolfe caught his attention.
Dr. Wolfe stated in his book “The Transformation of American
Religion” that ‘American religion has never existed
in practice the way it is supposed to exist in theory.’
The quote was challenging to Wolgemuth but disturbing at the same
“The problem is that he is right,” points out Wolgemuth,
who is the parent of two children and five grandchildren. “That
Christianity is seen by some as a way to position the way they
think rather than something that transforms their lives. What
I am challenging myself and other parents to, who read this book,
is to take your home and use it as an outpost of the Kingdom.”
While the notion of making your home a form of the church is
certainly daunting, it can be done successfully without creating
any undue distress.
A key component that resonates throughout
“The Most Important Place on Earth” is that to
have a great Christian home is not an idealistic fantasy that
could never take place in the “real” world in which
we live. Wolgemuth writes that it can be successfully achieved.
It is simply a matter of incorporating a series of key elements
in into your parenting style. They are: showing grace, the power
of words, laughter, discipline, spiritual guidance, and making
your home a safe, comforting refuge for your children.
Wolgemuth devotes a chapter to each one of these topics, taking
a very practical approach with illustrations derived from his
own parental failures and successes. In fact, that is what sets
this book apart from the literal glut of parenting books out on
the market today. While so many of these literary expositions
are clinical and academic, Wolgemuth is willing to admit that
he is not the ultimate expert. He simply wants to share simple
but effective parenting techniques that are deeply rooted in faith.
Above all, he wants to challenge Christian parents to stand up
for what they believe.
A particularly strong chapter is called “Discipline is
Not a Dirty Word”. Wolgemuth writes that appropriate discipline
is something parents often lose sight of in this brave new world
of political correctness. When considering the word “discipline”
most people unfortunately think of it as punishment. While it
is a technically appropriate definition for the word, there is
another meaning for it that is far more important in parenting.
Discipline is also defined as training that corrects, molds, or
perfects the mental faculties or moral character.
Wolgemuth says, “When I am helping my child understand
the importance of integrity, honesty and generosity, the goal
isn’t just so I get a chance to turn the thumbscrews down
on my children. The goal is for my children to have discipline
so that they have the ability to know right from wrong. It is
imperative that you teach your children the ability to say no.
It is self-control. And out of self-control comes self-esteem
A pleasant addition to
“The Most Important Place on Earth” is the supplemental
materials found at the end of the book. Wolgemuth takes readers
through an effective step by step process on how to lead your
child to a knowing faith in Jesus Christ. And he also shares his
mother’s recipe for how your children can easily learn 26
key Bible verses based on the alphabet.
I highly recommend this book for a variety of reasons but chief
among them is that with each passing day the moral fabric of America
is being tested. “The
Most Important Place on Earth” stands out as a beacon
of hope for parents. It does not take a rocket scientist to realize
that every Christian family in America is being challenged by
influences that are far from healthy. Robert Wolgemuth provides
a blue print for Christian parents to stand out, not as a negative
influence but as ambassadors of what is right about home and family.
Most Important Place on Earth” is written in a practical,
easy to understand style, yet challenges Christian parents to
be courageous and unafraid. But ultimately, Wolgemuth challenges
Christian parents to be different. A refreshing concept when considering
society is pressing for just the opposite.
If you haven’t done so already, do yourself a favor today
and pick up a copy of “The
Most Important Place on Earth”. Your children will thank
me what you think
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