I just finished a parenting book. Truthfully, it’s a book I would not have picked up on my own. The front cover has a rocking horse on it. It’s cute, don’t get me wrong, but it immediately put the word “young” in my mind. And, as much as I like to read books for all ages and stages of life…even if I am not in that stage…right now, I’m finding I have to be pretty selective as my time seems limited in this season of life.
The second thing that would have kept me from buying the book were the endorsements. I love good endorsements from people that I respect and, as a result, am more prone to trust their opinion and perspective. This one had plenty of endorsements…but they were not all the usual fare that makes me quick to snag a book and add it to my ever-growing stack. In fact, I’m still scratching my head over a few of them.
So, all that takes me back to the fact that I just finished a parenting book…and, in spite of my misgivings, I couldn’t give it a higher recommendation. I am so thankful that God laid it on my sister’s heart to send me a copy of “Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family” by Paul David Tripp. It is, without a doubt, in the top three parenting books I have ever read...and I have read a lot!
There were several things that I learned in this book that I have never recall reading in other parenting materials and yet, as he drew out the truths from Scripture, I wondered how I had missed them all along. At times, my journey through the book was painful as my heart was exposed and I came face to face with my own sinfulness. But there were also times I thought my heart was going to burst with excitement as he unpacked a truth, drove it straight to the heart of parenting and gave counsel that was incredibly wise, specific and full of practical application. I can’t tell you how many times I found myself thanking the Lord for how much sense the book was making to my own head and heart and, Lord willing in the days to come, will be revealed in my actions.
Don’t let the cover, or some of the endorsements, keep you from reading this fantastic book. Whether you are rocking your first baby or preparing to see that same “baby” head off to college for the first time…this book will bless and encourage your heart as you fulfill your role as an ambassador for Christ to your children. It will even change the way you view their sin. Really! Paul says this at the end of the book:
“If your eyes ever see and your ears ever hear the sin, weakness, and failure of your children, it is never a hassle, never an interruption, never an accident; it is always grace. God loves your children and has put them in a family of faith, and he will reveal the need of their hearts to you so that you can be his tool of rescue and transformation. It is important to see these moments as opportunities of grace and resist turning a moment of ministry into a moment of anger.”
If you are still not convinced, or are just a bit unsure if you want to add this book to your own growing stack…I’d encourage you to, at least, listen to a message he gave at a workshop for The Gospel Coalition. He did a great job summarizing his whole book in just one short hour!