I’ve been thinking recently about how grateful I am for a wonderful mother and for other women who have discipled and poured into me over the years. I was recently at an event where I ran into one of these women who is now in her seventies. She took me under her wing over ten years ago when I was newly in ministry and then a new mother. I’ll never forget the core lesson she taught me: Discipleship is all about training and educating.
Isn’t parenting at its core about discipleship? It’s really about relationship just as the Biblical narrative is about God’s relationship with us. More than correcting the behavior, discipleship is about helping our kids to walk on God’s path for life. Many books tell you what you should do because we yearn for a model or paradigm to follow. We wish someone could tell us what to do so everything will turn out well for our children. It’s much easier to follow a rule book than to trust God.
In poring over parenting books for many years, these are some of the ones that I’ve found most helpful with the goal of creating a loving, nurturing, grace-filled home. We’re far from having mastered the messages in these books– as anyone who knows us or our children can attest!– but many of these themes are ones we return to over and over again. Oh…and of course, the list is not exhaustive…and there are probably some I’m forgetting…but this should be a good start:
How to Really Love Your Child – D. Ross Campbell
Grace-Based Parenting – Tim Kimmel
The Mission of Motherhood – Sally Clarkson
Heartfelt Discipline – Clay Clarkson
Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes in Your Kids – Scott Turansky
The Five Love Languages of Children – Gary D. Chapman