I have recently completed a book on parenting by Paul David Tripp titled Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family, and I give it my highest recommendation. Paul has written extensively on the gospel and other issues which I also recommend, but this latest edition on parenting takes the cake.

Now before you dismiss this topic as irrelevant depending on your stage in life, I must say the principles laid out in this book are not only applicable to parenting, but to anyone’s life as a Christian. The fascinating aspect of this book, is that you can substitute almost every situation with parent for the word Christian, and still arrive at a principle of Gospel truth that can sincerely change the way you understand relationships.

With that said, this book convicted and challenged my approaches to Christian parenting despite some other titles I have read. I found the examples engaging and relevant and his writing style is easy to read. You can easily finish this book in under 2 weeks, as the chapters are concise and to the point, making reading a chapter a day extremely feasible.

Each chapter takes a Gospel principle and unpacks how parenting relates to our understanding of each. A principle that most affected me was the chapter on Mercy. “No parent gives mercy better than one who is convinced that he desperately needs it himself”. This book really helped remind me of my need for mercy, and in response not only give my wayward children mercy, but others who I encounter.

This book also helped me realize I cannot save my children, only God can. I am unable to do the regeneration in my child’s heart, much like I was not able to regenerate my own. This frees me to love generously, and trust in the process God has in the power of the Gospel.

While the book does use situations to illustrate a concept or point, this book is far from a how-to. Rather, learning these principles will enable growth in every situation on how to think about yourself, God, and your child. This way, the principles guide all situations and not just isolated scenarios, so the book continually delivers.

Another area I believe most parents get caught up on is Authority. There are 3 chapters on law, grace, and authority, that really helped put into perspective how I ought to communicate these truths to my two kids. I began to see a change in the way I approached my children right after chapter 1.

If you struggle with confusion, burnout, despair, failure or inability, I can not recommend Tripp’s newest book enough, it will not only transform how you parent, it will transform how you relate to your Father in heaven. There is a freedom in seeing our heavenly Father love us, so we can properly love our children with passion and joy. Do not hesitate on picking up a copy! I sincerely believe I will be reaping the benefits for years to come.

-Dan Lisa

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I imagine many of you are familiar with one or both of the following websites, but another mention won’t hurt (they’ve both been added to the blogroll in the sidebar).

The first is John Piper’s blog at DesiringGod.org. John Piper needs no introduction, but if you haven’t visited his blog site, you’re missing out on some great resources.

The second site, The Gospel Coalition, was a surprise find (for me at least). Fifty pastors from around the country have formed a fellowship to renew faith in the Gospel. Members include John Piper, Tim Keller, and Mark Driscoll, as well as Stephen Um, Peter Cha, and Paul Kim. I was very excited to find this example of Christians of different denominations coming together for a single purpose. The website offers a lot of resources (video Q&A, sermons, etc.). Here’s a snippet from the website: Read the rest of this entry »