One Parenting Book You Don't Want To Miss...And Why It's So Important (With a Giveaway)

Some years ago- more than I really want to remember- my husband and I went to a homeschool convention and heard an amazing speaker. His name was Paul David Tripp. Although we had already been parents for ten or so years by that time, and although we sometimes- again, probably more often than we want to remember or admit- thought that we knew it all, we were quite blown away by some of the things he said. They were definitely enough to give us food for thought and some good conversation about what we were doing wrong- and right- as we drove back home the next day.

I’ll never forget one of the things that Paul David Tripp said in one of the sessions. He made the statement that, as parents, we are either helping to guide our kids toward God and His will or we’re standing in the way. There is no neutral.

Ya’ll, I’ll just admit it. That is convicting. I’m sure there are many, many times when my own selfishness and my own goals and my own ideas get in the way of pointing my kids to God. That idea has caused me, more than once, to pause and reconsider what I’m doing or to convict me of my attitude in a parenting situation.

Review of Parenting by Paul David Tripp

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{We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. Occasionally posts contains other affiliate links as well.}We purchased a few books by Paul David Tripp that day. One was Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens. That book is filled with practical, godly wisdom for parenting tweens and teens, and we learned much from it. Now I’ve had the opportunity to read Tripp’s newest book- Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family. And the title of this post isn’t an exaggeration. You don’t want to miss this parenting book. Even if you think you have it all together- and I’ll confess that on a good day, I have the mistaken idea that I’m doing okay and might actually have this parenting thing down, although on other days I’m pretty sure that I’ve screwed up these children irreparably- you need to read this book.

What’s in the book?

In this book, Paul David Tripp is sharing, not so much practical advice for specific parenting situations, but the need for a shift in our parenting worldview. Specifically he’s encouraging parents to look at parenting as an ambassadorship, not an ownership.

Quote from parenting by Paul Tripp

As owners, our identity is tied up in our kids; we pour all of our work into trying to make this perfect (to our standards) kid who is going to prove our worth, prove that we’ve done this parenting thing right. That’s a lot of pressure ya’ll- on us and on our kids.

But as ambassador, we realize that we don’t own these kids. They belong to God. And, as good ambassadors, our job is to point them always to Him. As we do this, we seek God’s plan for them, not ours. We put our hope in God’s work, not in ours. Our worth isn’t tied up in what becomes of our kids because that’s all God’s work, not ours. Isn’t that a very freeing shift in worldview?

Christian parenting book

14 Gospel Principles

Throughout the book, Tripp shares fourteen principles from the gospel, related to different aspects of parenting.

  • Calling
  • Grace
  • Law
  • Inability
  • Identity
  • Process
  • Love 
  • Authority
  • Foolishness
  • Character
  • False Gods
  • Control
  • Rest
  • Mercy
Giveaway of Parenting by Paul David Tripp

Why a worldview shift?

If you’ve read Paul David Tripp’s Age of Opportunity, as I have, you”ll definitely notice that this book is much more theoretical and less practical. When I first read that in the introduction, I was a little disappointed. I liked the specific practical advice. In fact, I really want a formula for parenting. If I put in x, I’ll get out y. Wouldn’t it be nice if that really worked?
This quote, I think, sums up the need for a worldview shift instead of just snippets of practical advice for what to do in specific situations.

Very little of our parenting takes place in grand significant moments that have stopped us in our tracks and commanded our full attention; parenting takes place on the fly, when we’re not really paying attention and are greeted with things that we did not know we were going to be dealing with that day.

The reason we need a shift in our parenting worldview is because we can’t plan for every moment, for every situation that might arise in our parenting. But if our worldview is that of being ambassadors for Christ in the lives of our kids, the decisions we make, the statements we make, the way we act in those little moment by moment situations will be grounded in that truth.

Gospel principles for parenting

Why read this one book?

I think it’s valuable to read practical parenting books. I’ve read some great ones. I’ve reviewed some great ones here. But if you don’t read anything else, read this book.

Your parenting worldview will be challenged. You’ll be encouraged to evaluate how you view your parenting. And you’ll have a basis, a foundation for day to day, moment by moment parenting.

You can find Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Will Radically Change Your Family on Amazon here. 

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