Friday, May 20, 2011

Best Parenting Resources (from my limited perspective)

Speaking of parenting, a friend recently asked me the best books or resources I've encountered on this subject. DeYoung's little article is really helpful. But here are the best books I've read and other resources I've encountered:

1. Gospel-Powered Parenting, by William P. Farley
This book is the most foundational practical theology of parenting I've come across. It addresses the issue of needing Dads as leaders, and that the most significant thing a parent can do for their kids is to cultivate a great, Christ-centered marriage. I would want any parent to read this one first!

2. Shepherding a Child's Heart, by Ted Tripp
Yes, I do realize that most young reformed people put this in first place, second place, third place, and every place after that. But I still maintain that Farley's book is more foundational, and a better place to start. Having said that, Tripp offers a great framework for parenting and it is very practical. As soon as you are feeling dejected, though, read and re-read DeYoung's article!

3. Don't Make Me Count to Three, by Ginger Plowman
Admittedly, I'm not quite finished this book. But it is amazing. My wife and I love the way it works out many of the nuts and bolts of Tripp's theories into every day life. It's anecdotal content is very welcome to us. I'd be tempted to put it at #2, because I find it a bit more down to earth than Tripp, but I put it here because it is so dependent on his methods. Read them both!

4. God, Marriage, and Family, by Andreas Kostenberger
This is about the opposite of Plowman's book, but that doesn't make it unhelpful. In this book a New Testament scholar outlines a biblical theology of marriage and family through the Old and New Testaments. Like with Plowman, I have not read every word, but I've been helped by all the sections I have read!

5. Watching My Pastors
I've been blessed with great friends and great pastors at my church and elsewhere. I can say that the three pastors of my church are especially worth watching and listening to on this subject. I don't say this to brag about my church (I don't even name it here), but I simply say this to underline a reality: sometimes parenting is more caught than taught. Watching godly examples is invaluable in learning to parent well! Are you at a church whose elders are worth emulating? May their tribe increase!!!

6. Sermons and Messages
Find messages on-line by C.J. Mahaney, Carolyn Mahaney, Kenneth Maresco, John Piper, Tim Keller, etc and devour them.

Now, I know that this is not a complete list. It is a personal list of resources that have most helped me. I'm yet to read Instructing a Child's Heart, but I'm sure it will make the list when I do. But these are a few places that I've been helped as I seek to faithfully shepherd in my own home!

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