We are so thankful for friends who have gone before us on this journey and recommended some great books for us to read as new parents! We're still working our way through them and wanted to share some of the ones that we have and are finding super helpful.
1. Shepherding a Child's Heart - I took a biblical counselling course in Dallas that is the main way of thinking outlined in Tripp's book... the need to understand a child's heart (sin problem) and discipline not just the external action but form and shape the heart of your child. Probably one of the top christian parenting resources out there!
2. Gospel-Powered Parenting - I'm currently reading this one and it's great. While many of the other books are practical "how-to's" this one deals with the parents understanding of the gospel. What does grace mean for you, for your kids, for how you will parent your children? "This book is about how the gospel impacts parenting.... it (the gospel) should convince us that our pretensions to parental perfection are futile. It reminds us every day that we cannot be perfect. We can't discipline consistently. We can't teach sufficiently. We don't love adequately. But it also emboldens us. It reminds us that God's grace is perfected in our weakness (2 Cor 12:9-10)" Amen.
3. The Mission of Motherhood - I loved reading this book by Sally Clarkson, not just because of the way she beautifully shares the worldview that as mothers our children are worth our time, energy and investment, but because she also lived and served in this part of the world as a single! (Poland & Austria) She's also wrote The Ministry of Motherhood but i got a heads up that this one was more practical and helpful, so i read it first!
4. Loving the Little Years - A great quick read on embracing the little years. The title in and of itself is a good thing to remember... these days pass so quickly! But sometimes motherhood in the trenches... dirty diapers, whining kids and constant sleep deprivation lend to despising the seemingly repetitive mundanity. I found the part where the author writes about body image - read a little more here on my friend Amy's blog.
5. Raising a Modern-Day Knight - I bought this for Ben for Christmas and he is loving it! Robert Lewis writes, "Our culture is in deep trouble, and at the heart of its trouble is its loss of a vision for manhood. If it's difficult for you and me as adult males to maintain our masculine balance in this gender-neutral' culture, imagine what it must be like for our sons, who are growing up in an increasingly feminized world." He says that modern-day knights must be trained in three important areas: will to obey , a work to do and a woman to love. Ben feels like the core of the book is about discipleship and sees how it applies to both our boys and other young men he will work with in Poland.
6. Don't Make Me Count to Three - Just finished this one and really liked the practicality of it. It was an easy/quick read and pointed out a LOT of things parents naturally do that in the end are detrimental to the end goal of training your kids! It helped me to see that whining and throwing fits are a way of manipulations and to know how to deal with that better. And i liked the part where she exposed the excuses we use to not discipline ranging from "i love my kids too much" to "he's acting out because he's tired or sick" to "he doesn't understand".
While i was putting this together i noticed that Shepherding a Child's Heart and Don't Make Me Count to Three are only $1.99 for the kindle version!
Are there any books that you've read that have helped you on the journey of loving and training your kids as God wants us to? Or any other good parenting resources?
If we were a part of a larger church i'd totally be interested in this "It Starts At Home" video series for parents by Matt Chandler & Gary Thomas... you may have seen the video floating around on facebook. We think it's pretty hilarious and descriptive of our lives these days!