Here are a few books I highly recommend for Christian parents. I read them for my M Div thesis. My thesis was persuading how parents should discipling their children, not the church.
Book #1 – The Disciple-making Parent by Chap Bettis
I never thought my role as a father was to disciple my children until I read this book. When Chap emphasized the Biblical text for parents should be the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), he helped me connect that parenting should be under the umbrella of discipleship. All my interactions with my children are focused on showing who God is. So even the ordinary day-to-day tasks are opportunities to teach them the love of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Book #2 – Families and Faith by Vern L. Bengtson
This one is more of an academic read. Vern L. Bengtson studied how faith is passed down from generation. He studied up to four generations and discovered the importance that if the father has a warm and connected relationship with his children, that will increase his children to follow the same faith compared to if the father was distant but a fervent religious person. It taught me the importance of fathers connecting with their children warmly and friendly. In short, my relationship with my children greatly influences whether they will follow Jesus.
Book #3 – Intentional Parenting by Tad Thompson
Tad showed the problem with discipling the next generation is that parents are not doing the job and leaving it up to the church. He believes the role of the parent is to help the children “…to delight in the grace of God and desire to love and obey Him” (60). This is beyond reading the Bible and doing daily devotions. It involves an intentional process of spending time with children and using those times to show who God is by exhibiting His characteristics. He also shared that we can’t disciple our children beyond our level of discipleship.
Book #4 – Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp
This book had a profound impact on our parenting in the beginning. Tedd was one of the few authors I know of that specifically said that our children will worship God or idols, which is all rooted in heart issues and not behaviours. Often we look for solutions to fix the children’s behaviour so they will behave the way we want them to behave. Tedd emphasized if we do that, that’s condemnable as it ignores the heart issue that our children have a sinful nature and what they truly need is Jesus.
Book #5 – Sticky Faith by Dr. Kara E. Powell and Dr. Chap Clark
I didn’t use this book for my thesis, but it is a good read on Christian parenting. It emphasizes the importance of having a good relationship with the child and learning about Jesus starting at home, not in the church.
Christian parents, what books have impacted you the most?
If you do, please put it down in the comment section. Thank you!