Thirty years ago, Andy McQuitty, who pastors the Texas megachurch Irving Bible Church, started writing down parental words of wisdom in five separate journals — one for each of his five children.
Covering topics such as relationships, faith, discipline, work ethic and even politics, McQuitty’s handwritten journals were written over some 18 years, up until the day his children went off to college.
It wasn’t until years later that McQuitty compiled, digitized and published those journal entries into a single devotional format titled,Your Best Life Later, which the pastor says features deeply personal insights written straight from the heart of a Christian father to his five children.
McQuitty told The Christian Post that despite having written three other books, he never intended to publish this one.
“I started these journals to my children when they were small, with the goal of communicating things to them from the heart of a Christian dad, things that I felt they needed to know in order for their life to flourish.
“It was written as a very personal love letter/journal from a father to his children, with their best life walking with Christ later in mind,” he added.
McQuitty says the idea was originally inspired by his own father, who wrote him a letter when he was young about the life he envisioned for his son.
“It just meant so much to me that he had given this personal piece of himself that I would have forever, and I just thought, ‘I want to do that for my kids too,’” he said.
The book — which has both parents and young adults as its target audience — features practical methods for raising serious Christ-followers.
Using Proverbs 1:7-9 as the project's biblical underpinning, McQuitty calls on parents to examine their own walks as disciples of Christ and how they can influence their children with eternity in mind.
“I envisioned my young child reading that verse and asking the Lord, ‘My father’s instruction? My mother’s teaching? What instruction? What teaching?’” he said.
Because people's lives are inundated with various forms of media, Mcquitty says that’s precisely what makes personal writing so powerful.
“It shines like a light in a dark place because it’s personal and it’s lasting,” he said.
After serving his church family as senior pastor to Irving Bible Church in Texas for 32 years, McQuitty now serves as pastor emeritus and has turned his focus to writing and ministry.
He's concerned about the “erosion of Christian values in the public square and kind of a persecution, almost, of Christian parents who stand up against this crazy trans stuff and woke-ism and CRT."
McQuitty said now more than ever, it’s time for parents to take personal responsibility for the “moral education of their children.”
“I think it’s a way for parents in Christian homes to reclaim that ground that’s been stolen by the public square … the moral education of their children,” he said. “I think it has implications for the survival of our country, actually.”
In 2018, McQuitty said Christians need to treat members of the LGBT community just like it would "any community of people who are hurting and far from God,” calling it a crisis “because we've got thousands, if not millions, of young LGBT people in America today, many of them Christians, followers of Christ, who have left the Church because they feel rejected.”
"We need to treat them like Jesus treated them," he said. "How did Jesus treat the tax collectors and the harlots and sinners of his day? Well, the Pharisees will tell you how He treated them; they criticized Him and said, 'He's one of them. He has dinner parties with them.' Jesus called Matthew, a tax collector hated by his people, to be His disciple. Jesus embraced everyone, regardless of who they were."
The pastor emphasized that while churches should "love and welcome" members of the LGBT community, they should first establish their position on homosexuality and same-sex marriage.