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Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family Hardcover – September 30, 2016
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"Paul Tripp constantly turns us back to the life-giving power of the gospel and God's unfailing grace. Parenting our children is one of life's greatest challenges, and Paul points us to the one thing that can make a difference—a genuine encounter with the living God."
—TobyMac, hip hop recording artist; music producer; songwriter
"Simply put, I read everything that Paul Tripp writes. I can’t afford to miss one word."
—Ann Voskamp, New York Times best-selling author, One Thousand Gifts
"This is the most meaningful book I have read all year. It is both theological and practical, a rare combination for a parenting book. For years, people have asked me to write a book on parenting. After reading this, I am convinced that I could never write one better than this. I’m so glad I read this, but I wish I could have read it twenty years ago. After reading Parenting, I was torn. Part of me wanted to sit, cry, and confess all of my failures as a parent. The other part wanted to scream with excitement for the tremendous insight I now have to be a better parent."
—Francis Chan, New York Times best-selling author, Crazy Love and Forgotten God
"I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is simply outstanding. This is Tripp at his best: he shows us the big picture of life with Christ and gets down to the nitty-gritty specifics of walking by grace through faith. Tripp's manifesto is about more than simply our duty as parents—it's about our privilege of being ambassadors of Jesus Christ to our kids. Moms and dads from every culture will benefit from Tripp's call for us to live in light of the grace and hope we have in Jesus."
—Gloria Furman, author, Missional Motherhood and Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full
"This book is so timely for me. My bride and I are raising four children aged five and under, and we need help! It's easy to find books with parenting tips on how to correct our children's behavior, but Paul Tripp's book goes far beyond behavior; he takes the reader to the source of the problem—the heart. If we understand our children at a heart level and have a proper understanding of the gospel, then we can parent them as God intends. Paul Tripp has written a simple yet profound book. Parents, you need to read this now. You will surely be blessed."
—Webb Simpson, professional golfer; 2012 US Open Champion
"I am an imperfect parent. You probably are too. Buy this book and soak in it. This is not another '5 Steps to Becoming a Perfect Parent'—instead, Tripp wants us to see our relationship to God and to our children through a big-picture lens. My wife and I are always-go-never-stop parents of young children. If you know the feeling, this book will be both challenging and refreshing, and ultimately it will be a great blessing to your journey. Tripp has made me think in a fresh way about the extremely important and tremendously challenging task that is everyday parenting. To raise up a child is a great responsibility—let us take it up with reverence, joy, and a loving heart!"
—Jacob Tamme, NFL® tight end
"A subject needing careful study, a messenger committed to the truth, and a careful application of God’s Word. The power is in the combination, and it all comes together in Paul Tripp’s new book called Parenting. Read it and see one of your most important human responsibilities become more of what God created it to be."
—James MacDonald, Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel, Rolling Meadows, Illinois; author, Vertical Church
About the Author
Paul David Tripp (DMin, Westminster Theological Seminary) is a pastor, author, and international conference speaker. He is also the president of Paul Tripp Ministries. He has written a number of popular books on Christian living, including What Did You Expect?, Dangerous Calling, Parenting, and New Morning Mercies. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife Luella and they have four grown children. For more information and resources, visit paultrippministries.org.
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What I appreciate is that you may or I may differ on the application of the principle to specific choices in parenting; nevertheless, the principles are thoroughly biblical and since this is where the emphasis is, all Christian, Bible-believing parents should find this an extremely valuable resource.
Here are the chapters and the principles laid out:
1. Calling - Nothing is more important in your life than being one of God's tools to form a human soul
2. Grace: God never calls you to a task without giving you what you need to do it. He never sends you without going with you.
3. Law: Your children need God's law, but you cannot ask the law to do what only grace can accomplish.
4. Inability: Recognizing what you are unable to do is essential to good parenting.
5. Identity: If you are not resting as a parent in your identity in Christ, you will look for identity in your children.
6. Process: You must be committed as a parent to long-view parenting because change is a process and not an event.
7. Lost: As a parent you're not dealing just with bad behavior, but a condition that causes bad behavior.
8. Authority: One of the foundational heart issues in the life of every child is authority. Teaching and modeling the protective beauty of authority is one of the foundations of good parenting.
9. Foolishness: The foolishness inside your children is more dangerous to them than the temptation outside of them. Only God's grace has the power to rescue fools.
10. Character: Not all of the wrong your children do is a direct rebellion to authority; much of the wrong is the result of a lack of character.
11. False Gods: You are parenting a worshiper, so it's important to remember that what rules your child's heart will control his behavior.
12. Control: The goal of parenting is not control of behavior, but rather heart and life change.
13. Rest: It is only rest in God's presence and grace that will make you a joyful and patient parent.
14. Mercy: No parent gives mercy better than one who is convinced that he desperately needs it himself.
Tripp discusses what "ownership" parenting looks like. The results are parents who try to control their kids with fear, shame, and rewards. Instead of loving our children and being used by God, we manipulate, coerce, and use tactics that don't bring change. Instead, all our efforts bring stressful home lives and children who disobey. Ownership parenting is not how God designed us to live as parents. Tripp takes us on the journey of what parenting should look like as ambassadors for Christ. We can rest knowing that God will take care of our children.
Tripp talks extensively about grace. Through the entire book, he talks about how we can't live up to the standard and how our children can't either. This is the background of the book: grace. So if you read the book and think "wow, he's telling me to do a lot of stuff" and you become overwhelmed, it's because you need to remember the backdrop of grace that he's talked about from the beginning. The entire book points to the gospel of grace, not works. Yes, there are wise and helpful things we as parents "should" do. To be honest, the chapter on "Character" made me feel sad. I know my kids lack character. I know I do as well. But then the next chapter on "False Idols" actually pointed back to the grace. If you only read one chapter from the book, you might not see the backdrop so it's important to read the entire book and take it as a whole. The grace we need as parents comes from Christ, not rules. Tripp makes this quite evident in the book.
This book is not filled with practical tips or parenting advice in the form of "when this happens, do this". Instead, it's much more heart oriented, asking you to grasp the big picture of the gospel for your children. This book has encouraged me as a mom to stop trying to be everything, fix everything, and manufacture experiences that would somehow make my children better. Instead, I've really embraced the practical advice of living out my life for God in a way that my kids will see it. That's the most important thing I took from this book--that it's my job as their mom to help them see the wonderful, awesome nature of a mighty God. I get to rest in Him, knowing that He is wise and good and loving and I can have peace as a parent, even in conflict, knowing that He has the best in mind for us all. Instead of looking at parenting conflict and struggles as annoyances, I can look at them as opportunities to make a big deal of God. This is huge. Tripp explains all these things very well in the book.
I am going to be re-reading this again because it's so important. Paul Tripp is one of my favorite authors and this book does not disappoint. For more practical, hands-on parenting advice that goes really well with this book as a foundation, try Discipline that Connects With Your Child's Heart by Jim & Lynn Jackson. This book will drastically change how you approach parenting conflict but in a grace-filled way.