“This relationship of parents and children is seated in the fact that we have been adopted as children of God. So we don’t just randomly parent. We parent as the Father parents us. All of this flows out of the Good News that we have been adopted as sons and daughters of the King.” - Pastor Keith Watson
After listening to Keith’s sermon on ‘Parents and Children’ in our Relationship series, Arthur and I were both compelled to share a few resources that we have used and recommended over the years.
Early on in our parenting journey, we attended a conference with Tedd Tripp and were introduced to his book, "Shepherding a Child’s Heart". This book has always been my go-to resource when parenting my children. It is both biblically centered, practical and aims directly at the heart of our children with a focus on grace.
While many of the principles of Shepherding a Child’s Heart can be applied to older children, I have found “Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens” a very helpful resource in walking through this challenging season of life.
This book is also filled with practical, grace-filled advice, set within the framework of a biblical approach to parenting. While there are many helpful resources out there, these two books are my default resources when it comes to recentering my mind on my responsibilities as a parent.
While the books above are great for shaping our hearts as parents, I have found no better resources to engage our kids with than the next two.
"Big Truths for Little Kids" was a dining room table staple at our home when our kids were younger. This book captures the heart and imagination of kids as it builds a biblical framework for a Christian worldview. The authors include a set of catechism questions that flow right along with the story, and our kids loved memorizing the questions and answers. This is the perfect book for busy parents who may not know how to get started in doing a devotional with their children. If you are looking for a book to engage your children (recommended for ages 3-10) in the Gospel, then look no further.
The second book that I highly recommend is "the Jesus Storybook Bible". We have used this book at home and in New City Kids because it very intentionally shows how every story in the Bible points to the coming King, Jesus. The artwork throughout the book is fantastic, and the stories are written in such a way that kids are able to not only understand the deeper biblical meaning, but they want to hear more of it. Although the book is recommended for ages 4-8, I have found that kids a little younger/older also enjoy it. If you are looking for a resource that really brings the Bible to life for a younger audience, this is the one.
A resource that I have not yet read is “Ready to Launch” by J.D. & Veronica Greear. I have heard nothing but good things about this study of Psalm 127, so I am looking forward to working through it. This excerpt really captures the heart of this series:
In this seven-session study, J.D. and Veronica Greear mine Psalm 127 for guidance on topics such as discipline, prioritizing time, balancing a schedule, the importance of church as a second family, and preparing our kids to leave the home and carry on the mission of God.
As I was listening to Pastor Keith’s message on Relationships between Parents and Children, I thought about how music is such a great teaching tool. Sovereign Grace Music has put together a gospel-centered resource called "The Ology: Ancient Truths Ever New" that blends rich theology into kid’s worship music that is fun to listen to as a family. Parents, this is an easy way to show our kids Jesus. Children love to be loud and love to sing loudly. Why not loudly sing biblical truths? What a great opportunity to sing and teach children truths of the gospel!
If you haven’t heard Pastor Keith’s message on Relationships between Parents and children, take a listen here.