TRAIN UP A CHILD by Johnny Holloway


Timeless Strategies for Guiding a Child into Mature Adulthood
Email this review


A debut book offers a parenting guide based on personal experiences and the Bible.

In this work, Holloway draws on his childhood, parenthood, and experience as a senior pastor of the Cup of Salvation Deliverance Church & Ministries in Durham, North Carolina, to help other parents “train up” their children. The term “train up,” drawn from Proverbs 22:6, is used here to mean “motivating a child to become a productive and stable adult.” The author begins with his own upbringing: a “signature moment” at age 6 when he felt betrayed by his parents; another traumatic moment at 9; his adolescence as a habitual liar; and his acceptance to a prestigious prep school. He offers few specifics but uses these events to broach larger parenting issues, including race, sex, college life, the choice of a spouse, and the effects of even unintended emotional abuse. By 24, Holloway was married with two children. He admits his immaturity as a young father and hopes other parents can learn from his (and his parents’) mistakes. The second part of the book focuses on strategies for training. Holloway provides a list of 10 “predictive social values” (how children respond to their environment) and six “predictive spiritual values” (how children are accountable to God and others). Social values include courtesy, people skills, and temperament; spiritual values include rights, attitude, and love. Holloway then outlines six developmental stages of parenting and devotes a chapter to each, showing how social and spiritual values—as well as a list of conceptual lessons “endorsed” by the Bible and eight “parenting instructive processes”—should be applied at each stage. Holloway’s life is intriguing and his advice generally instructive: he places the onus squarely on parents to actively raise their children with compassion and predictability. The chapters based on developmental stages (infancy to young adult) make for easy reference. But the author’s heavy reliance on and interpretation of the Bible may not appeal to some readers (for example, his negative portrayal of homosexuality). Furthermore, the overlapping lists of principles are somewhat formulaic and their applications vague. The book would also have benefitted from more details of Holloway’s life and more anecdotes to show his principles in action.

A useful list of precepts for Christian parents.

Pub Date: May 14th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4917-9578-1
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: iUniverse
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:


NonfictionTHE COLLAPSE OF PARENTING by Leonard Sax
by Leonard Sax
NonfictionPERMISSION TO PARENT by Robin Berman
by Robin Berman
by Joanna Hulton