Here are some gospel-centered family resources to follow up our Sunday sermon on Gospel-centered Parenting. This is a buffet of resources. Just start with a couple. Don’t order everything and try to start all of these rhythms overnight. Start with the Bible and a book and move out from there. And remember, you can’t change your children, only the Spirit of Jesus can, so pray!

Parenting Books

  • Gospel-Driven Parenting (Farley) – this book is principle driven, helping parents think through how to bring the gospel into their own lives as parents and into their children’s lives.
  • Shepherding A Child’s Heart (Tripp) – this book is more practical in nature, addressing the heart of our child through the various stages of child development. They also have a follow up book, Instructing a Child’s Heart.
  • How Children Raise Parents (Allender) – I loved this book and go back to it over and over for personal enrichment as a parent. I use some of Allender’s practices with our children.
  • God, Marriage, & Family (Kostenberger) – uber-biblical, with a twist of practical. Great for reference and finer concerns.
  • Grace-Based Parenting (Kimmel) – very introductory to gospel-shaped parenting, but good.

Develop Gospel Family Rhythms

  • Develop family rhythms around the Gospel. These are predictable times of worship, prayer and Bible reading. Consider doing them around meals, a time when the family should be gathering together free from the distractions of media. We do this at breakfast.
  • Don’t isolate the gospel to predictable times. Integrate prayer, worship, and Bible into every day life. Pray on the fly, sing on the fly, read on the fly. When we isolate we program our children for legalism. Show them the gospel in everyday life.
Suggestions for Family Rhythms
  • Read the a good children’s Bible (or this one). Remember to have fun with your children while learning the Bible. Avoid being uber serious and unrealistic expectations. Keep the time brief to hold the small children’s attention.
  • Do some Scripture flash cards to do over a meal. If you know of cards with better pictures for small children let me know! Use the verses in context, applying them to everyday life for instruction. Put the verses to music or rhythm. Your child will enjoy singing and clapping.
  • Sing Songs together. Teach them songs from CDs, DVDs, and ones you make up along the way.
  • Interact with the Book of Questions and Answers. My kids love this book. They ask for it. They enjoy getting to participate in the gospel rhythms, not just listen to stories.