Before you know it, I’ll be a grandmother, so I’m keeping an eye on the children’s books that are coming out. Faith Forward by Ruth and Patrick Schwenk is a little unique in that it’s a family devotional book, which means it’s for families with young children, but it’s meant for the family to do together.
Faith Forward consists of 100 devotional lessons that work their way through the Bible from beginning to end. Each lesson includes a scripture verse, a life lesson to be read aloud, discussion questions, key idea, and a prayer.
I always appreciate books that are sturdy hardbacks with a pretty cover, and Faith Forward is that. The book is a good size for reading and holding and should withstand daily reading. The inside is attractive but unexciting. Every page has the exact same template with flowers in the bottom right corner and flowers in the top left.
I wanted to like this book, but honestly, I was unimpressed. I tried reading the lessons aloud, and it sounded so awkward. I think the problem is that the concepts are basic but the writing style is formal. It works for silent reading, but I can’t imagine reading it aloud to young children. Not to mention, there are no pictures for the children to look at, just those same flowers on each page.
I think the best way parents could use this book would be to use it as a springboard for discussions. If the parents read over the lessons then used them to have conversations with their children, it could work. It would also work best if you have children of varying ages as some of the questions are simplistic while others are more abstract and would be very difficult for children to answer. Some questions would be hard for the parents to answer. Like, “How does God make us holy?” and “How would you describe faith?” Of course, questions like that are good for parents to start formulating answers and leading in discussions.
Faith Forward would be a good addition to your family library if you’re willing to put in the time to read ahead and use it as a guideline for discussion. I suspect it could lead to some interesting conversations which might lead to rabbit trails of further Bible reading and discussion.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. Opinions expressed are my own.