Friday, October 7, 2016

Review: Total Family Makeover

Total Family Makeover
By Melissa Spoelstra
Abingdon Press, 2016


Train children in the way they should go; when they grow old, they won't depart from it. --Proverbs 22:6

God calls us as parents to be key disciple-makers in our children's lives, but if we're honest, some days it's a battle just to get them dressed and ready for school on time. How can you mold their hearts when sometimes you can't even find their shoes?

In Total Family Makeover, author Melissa Spoelstra gives parents a way---a sort of spiritual track to run on---when it comes to building family discipleship. She focuses on eight key habits of growth:

-Spending Time in Prayer
-Reading God's Word
-Growing Through a Mentoring Relationship
-Finding Community in the Church
-Serving Others
-Taking Time to Rest
-Giving Back to God
-Sharing Your Faith

Disciples are made, not born. Whether your children are babes in arms or teenagers getting ready to leave the nest, making disciples at home starts with you! Give your family a makeover with this practical approach to helping your children learn what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

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My thoughts

I’m going to be honest up front . . . There’s no way I can do this wonderful book justice in a review, so I’ll just share some of my personal random thoughts.

Total Family Makeover will do exactly that for your family – spiritually. It is filled with motivation, encouragement, biblical teaching, and practical application to help godly parents model their faith.

Melissa Spoelstra explores in detail eight steps to making disciples, both now and after children leave home. Some topics are what I would expect – such as prayer, reading God’s Word, serving, and giving – while others I hadn’t thought that much about, but quickly realized how vital they are to living out our faith daily and knowing God intimately. Total Family Makeover basically reflects these words of Jesus, “Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me.”

When was the last time your kids discovered you praying? That piercing question is from the first chapter on spending time in prayer. I wonder how revealing our answers would be.

Chapters focusing on each step are divided into two sections: how Jesus personally modeled the habit and then how He trained His disciples. Melissa gives tons of practical application and suggestions, more than enough to pull out what would work best for your family. I liked how each chapter ends with discussion questions and digging deeper into God’s Word.

Melissa shares some very helpful tools, a couple of my favorites being a chart of age-appropriate Bible translations, and questions to work through if you’re thinking of leaving a church or if you’re looking for a church.

Parents who use this book will not only instill faith in their children, but will find themselves growing closer to the Lord personally – as well as growing closer as a family.

While this book is targeted to parents raising their children, the basic principles apply even after children have grown up and left home. That’s where I find myself and I’m taking it to heart, cherishing Melissa’s words: “God calls us to do all we can to train our children spiritually, but the goal is not their perfect behavior now; it is their desire to follow him long after they have left home.”

Total Family Makeover is an invaluable resource for every parent. Highly recommended.


Melissa Spoelstra is a popular women's conference speaker, Bible teacher, and writer who is madly in love with Jesus and passionate about helping women of all ages to seek Christ and know Him more intimately through serious Bible study. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Bible Theology and enjoys teaching God's Word to diverse groups and churches within the body of Christ.

She is the author of the First Corinthians: Living Love When We Disagree, Joseph: The Journey to Forgiveness, and Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World Bible studies and Total Family Makeover: 8 Steps to Making Disciples at Home book. She lives in Dublin, Ohio, with her pastor husband and four kids.

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I received this book free of charge from Litfuse Publicity.

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