9 Best Christian Parenting Books

The best Christian books about parenting that seek to be gentle, encouraging, instructive, biblical, gospel-oriented, and Christ-centered.

9 Best Christian Parenting Books
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1. Give Them Grace

Give Them Grace is a 216 page book written by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson and published by Crossway in 2011.

In the first section , the authors present the "foundations of grace." It is not the "law of God" that justifies Christians and makes us righteous. Rather, it is the righteousness of God freely given by grace through saving faith alone. Understanding the grace of God is acknowledging that righteousness is not produced by human effort but is a work of God. Therefore, we should give our children grace.

In the second section, entitled "Evidences of Grace," we are reminded that giving our children grace does not neglect instruction, correction, and warnings. True wisdom comes through knowing Christ and the love of our heavenly Father. God can show his strength by revealing the parent's weakness, and therefore, we can enjoy and rest in God's grace.

For Christian parents that may lean towards legalism and only focus on behavior modiification in their parenting, this book is a helpful reminder and tutor.

2. Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles that Can Radically Change Your Family

Parenting is a 224 page book written by Paul David Tripp and published by Crossway in 2016.

In this book, Tripp helps Christians to apply the Christian gospel to parenting. Each chapter is devoted to a specific gospel principle. At the start of each chapter, Tripp introduces a scenario and a parenting dilemma. He then reviews the relevant Bible verses and passages that apply and address the problem the parents face with their child. The book is not a step-by-step recipe for parenting, but it is an instructive outline of the essential truths of the gospel that can assist parents with their parenting challenges.

3. Teach Them to Work: Building a Positive Work Ethic in Our Children

Teach Them to Work is a 240 page book written by Mary Beeke and published by Reformation Heritage Books in 2021.

The primary purpose of the book is to encourage parents to biblically instill diligence in their children. The book is especially helpful for parents who "might not be naturally inclined to diligence or who have children cut from this mold."

The first half of the book reviews the principles that parents must understand. The second half of the book reviews practical suggestions on how to apply the principles for one self and one's children. One of the Christian parent's most important task is to "teach our children to work."

4. Family Driven Faith

Family Driven Faith is a 224 page book written by Vaddie Baucham and published by Crossway in 2007.

Baucham applies the truths and principles in Deuteronomy 6 and Ephesians 6 to help parents understand the importance and components of family discipleship. The book argues that the preminent work of Christians parents is to train our children to follow God.

Some practical exhortations in this book include (1) placing God first in the family, (2) prioritizing the parents' marital relationship, (3) adopting a proper worldview, (4) teaching and applying God's word at home, (5) leading family worship, (6) devoting time with each member of the family, (7) purposefully discipling the children, and (8) encouraging the church to nurture families.

5. Parenting by God’s Promises: How to Raise Children in the Covenant of Grace

Parenting by God's Promises is a 345 page book written by Joel R. Beeke and published by Ligonier Ministries in 2011.

Beeke writes as "a teacher-preacher and a faithful expositor of Scripture with the warm-hearted devotion of a husband and father who has seen the fruits of that which he writes in his own family." The book is based on a series of lectures Beeke had given to a local church. He explains how Reformed theology can affect a Christian parent's perspective and approach.

There are four sections to this book. The first section covers the "theological foundations for parenting in the Scriptures." The second section covers the biblical responsibilities of Christian parents. The third section covers practical ways parents can instruct their children in their pursuit of holiness, biblical communication, and godly relationships. The final section addresses special topics and considerations unique to children in their teenage years.

The strength of this book is Beeke's commitment to draw the book's principles and suggestions from the primary text of Holy Scripture.

6. Shepherding a Child's Heart

Shepherding a Child's Heart is a 215 page book written by Tedd Tripp and published by Shepherd Press in 1995.

Even though this book is more dated than other books on this list, the principles presented are timeless. The contents of the book are organized into two sections. The first section covers the foundational biblical principles for parenting. The second section covers practical considerations for the three stages of children: early childhood, school aged children, and teenagers.

Tripp assures Christian parents that raising children in a godly way is possible when guided by the Bible. Parents have God-given authority over their children, and their primary responsibility is to shepherd their children and their hearts. The central focus of Christian parenting is to present the gospel and remind the entire family that every person is equally under the care and provision of God. The emphasis of this book is to "shepherd a child's heart" by discarding unbiblical methods and embracing biblical ones.

7. Brave Dad: Raising Your Kids to Love and Follow God

Brave Dad is a 144 page book written by John MacArthur and published by Harvest House Publishers in 2016.

What makes this book different from many other parenting books is that MacArthur draws his points directly from specific passages of Scripture like Ephesians 5, 1 Thessalonians 2, Luke 15, and Proverbs 1–10. So what you are reading is not a biblical counselor or seasoned father/grandfather musing about topical principles. Instead, you are reading a pastor's summaries of 20+ sermons he had preached that apply directly to men and their calling as husbands and fathers.

8. Age of Opportunity

Age of Opportunity, the revised and updated edition, is a 256 page book written by Paul David Tripp and published by P&R Publishing in 2022. The overarching purpose of Age of Opportunity is to help parents recognize the unique opportunity we have as we parent and shepherd our teenaged children.

The book is organized tightly into three sections. The first section dispels a few myths about adolescense and explains how parents should properly view their teenagers and the family. The second section reviews the long-term goals Christian parents should have for their children as they prepare for adulthood. The third section covers some practical tactics and strategies to reach those goals.

For parents who are discouraged and feeling a sense of helplessness and hopelessness, this book can help refresh the parents' weary soul as we continue to seize our teenager's unique "age of opportunity."

9. The Life We Never Expected: Hopeful Reflections on the Challenges of Parenting Children with Special Needs

The Life We Never Expected is a 160 page book written by Andrew and Rachel Wilson and published by Crossway in 2016.

I include this final book on my list of recommended books for Christian parenting since there is instruction and encouragement unique for parents with special needs children. The Wilsons draw from their personal experience of parenting two children with special needs. The authors are transparent and successfully show what "it means to weep, worship, wait, and hope in the Lord" as parents who are facing a life they had never expected.