/**/ The Purposeful Wife: 12 Parenting Books to Read this Year

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

12 Parenting Books to Read this Year

One of the areas that I try to always be reading about is parenting.

A trap I've fallen into in the past is allowing parenting books to stress me out. I compared myself to the standard set in the book, scrambled to follow a method as closely as possible, and ended up feeling pretty crummy and useless when it just didn't work for me.

Reading shouldn't be burdensome! It should be helpful and constructive. Especially when it comes to parenting; it's good to turn the ideas over in our minds, think about our own parenting as objectively as possible, adopt the good, and feel free to throw the rest to the wind. Every family is different, and there is no such thing as a perfect parent.

I like to read parenting books often because it keeps me on my toes and thinking about what is currently one of my most important jobs. My parenting is a mosaic of the way I was raised, the way I understand Scripture, and the tactics and tricks that I've read or observed in other parents along the way. I want the wisdom of other godly parents coming at me constantly because I don't have all the answers. I'm looking to grow.

If we can approach our reading in this way- from a place deeply rooted in the grace of God, confident in our standing before Him, and not ready to be blown about by every wind of a different parenting algorithm, then I really believe parenting books can be beneficial.

Also, the number one book every parent should be reading is the Bible. That's the only infallible book that addresses the topic, period.

You should know that I haven't read any of the books on this list yet {apart from the first, which I just finished}. So they could be horrible, heretical, crazy, or amazing. I really don't know. I have high hopes for them because almost all were the recommendations of friends or other bloggers.

If you'd like a list of some of my favorite parenting books read in the past, that would include: Loving the Little Years, Fit to Burst, Give Them Grace, Together: Growing Appetites for God, Honey for a Child's Heart, The Shaping of a Christian Family, and Shepherding a Child's Heart... I could go on, but maybe that will be another whole post :).

Without further ado, 12 parenting books I'd like to read this year:

Withhold Not Correction by Bruce A. Ray. I received this at my first baby shower over four years ago in a stack of parenting books, and it had sat on my shelf ever since. It was recently bumped up to the top of my stack when I saw three copies {yes, 3!!!} of it on the bookshelf of dear family friends. The lady of the house, mother of 5 boys all grown into some of the nicest and godliest men I know, said that if anyone asked her for advice, this book says everything she would say to them. There you have it.

Surprised By Motherhood by Lisa-Jo Baker. I really appreciate Lisa-Jo's graciousness, sense of humor, and wisdom. This book was a favorite of one of my friends in 2014 {here's looking at you Abigail I.}, so it's been on my list for awhile now. Time to bump it up!

Strong Mothers, Strong Sons by Meg Meekers. Oh my heart! The bigger he gets, the more I'm astounded at the sweetness of the mother-son relationship. At the same time, girls are what I know and understand- I need all the help I can get when it comes to my little man.

Raising a Daughter After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George. I've appreciated a lot of E.G's books in the past. The titles kind of bugs me, because we are not the Holy Spirit, and in the end have no control over whether our kids grow up to be "after God's heart" or not. Still, I'm sure this book will be full of gems.

Parenting the Whole Hearted Child by Jeannie Cunnion. I heard the author interviewed on a podcast ages ago, and her wise, Gospel-centered words really piqued my interest.

The Faithful Parent by Martha Peace. Another baby shower gift from days of old that I have yet to read. You can count on Mrs. Peace to present sound Biblical wisdom in everything she writes.

The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson. Confession- I've never read one of Sally Clarkson's book {apart from Desperate, which she co-wrote with Sarah Mae, so I don't really think it counts}. She has quite the reputation, so I'm really overdue here.

Making Children Mind without Losing Yours by Kevin Leman. You know those moms who are just so kind, and lovely and wise... and you know that they aren't perfect, and you know that their kids aren't perfect either- but watching them parent just commands your respect and inspires you as a mom? My friend who is that mom recently read this book and recommended it as helpful.

Gospel Powered Parenting by William P. Farley. Gospel in the title or subtitle, and chances are good I'm going to want to read it. Moralism is a trap I've been stumbling over my entire life, and I need to see Jesus, to meditate on Jesus, and to allow Jesus to change the way I raise my kids.

Christ in the Chaos: How the Gospel Changes Motherhood by Kimm Crandall. Ditto to the above. Also, comes recommended from highly respected sources.

Duties of Parents by J.C. Ryle. This is a Christian classic, and recommended by the esteemed Elisabeth Elliot.

Hints on Child Training by H. Clay Trumbull. Another classic, also recommended by Elisabeth Elliot. Author happens to be her great-grandfather. Even cooler, you can get the Kindle edition for a mere $0.99. Don't have a Kindle? No problem! Just download the free Kindle app to any computer or mobile device.

What parenting books would you recommend? And tell me I'm not the only mom whose gotten stuck in the pits of parenting book blues?!?

The links above are affiliate links- which means that if you make a purchase through them, I receive a small comission at no extra charge to you. But you should know that I am an avid believer in reading for free through your library. Thanks for supporting The Purposeful Wife!

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