Christian Living


The Most Important Place on Earth

Chris Carpenter - Director of Internet Programming

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, joy.

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 to do.”

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 time.

“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 and self-respect.”

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.

“The 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 you later.

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