In the midst of folding laundry, coordinating carpool schedules, and breaking up fights, many parents get lost. Feeling pressure to do everything “right” and raise up “good” children, it’s easy to lose sight of our ultimate purpose as parents in the quest for practical tips and guaranteed formulas.
Author Paul Tripp offers parents much more than a to-do list. He presents a big-picture view of God’s plan for parents. He outlines fourteen foundational principles centered on the gospel because parents need more than the latest parenting strategy or list of techniques. Parents need the rescuing grace of God – grace that has the power to shape the view of everything we do as parents.
I have only a precious few years left raising two of my boys. I wasn’t sure this book would cover anything specific to teens, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it did, indeed. There are 14 chapters, one covering each of the foundational principals.
I urge you not to skip the introduction, Ambassadors. I wish I had read page 13 of the introduction concerning “ownership” years ago as a young mother. Though I don’t see myself as having the same outlook now, I can recall a time that I thought similarly. As far back as I can remember, it seemed to be the attitude of my parenting examples, as well. Perhaps this is something we all master as we mature in parenting, but I can’t help but think of the years I’ve spent with the wrong outlook.
The 14 chapters/principles are as follows:
1 – Calling
2 – Grace
3 – Law
4 – Inability
5 – Identity
6 – Process
7 – Lost
8 – Authority
9 – Foolishness
10 – Character
11 – False Gods
12 – Control
13 – Rest
14 – Mercy
The book was filled with reality checks, yet still inspired me to continue reading. Chapter 6 (change is a process and not an event) deeply affected me. Sometimes one of the most obvious realities is the one we continually forget!
While there’s still no official handbook for parents, I recommend Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family to any parent – expecting, new and seasoned. No matter which stage of parenting you are in at the moment, there is something to be gleaned.