Parenting Books: Moving From Formulas Back to Principles

You must be committed as a parent to long-view parenting because change is a process and not an event.

Many Christians would even say that the Bible isn’t a parenting book, because it doesn’t give practical day-to-day help. It is true that you won’t find verses about the terrible twos, the tween years, or helping your twenty-something child to “adult.” We can, however, miss the forest for the trees, forgetting the foundational principles from which we parent in the moment. Paul David Tripp’s 2016 book, Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family lifts parents from the daily details to biblical principles which can point us in a better direction.


If you’re a parent, you’ve probably read a parenting book, recommended a parenting book, and/or asked for a recommendation for a parenting book. I entered “parenting” in the Amazon search box, and voila – 200,000 entries! A general internet search yielded 389,000,000 hits in .57 seconds.

You are probably greatly influenced by friends, family, church, or social media concerning the books you choose, and people of similar age, or with children of similar age, have probably read many of the same books. (As an aside, it would be interesting to see how many books are the same old messages packaged in today’s lingo or with emphases that make such books attractive to modern readers.)

Why is it that we turn to so many books? I am convinced it’s because we want to know the formula to accomplishing whatever parenting goals we have. Yet those goals are as numerous as the books available to help us. Parents wonder: How do I get my kids to go to bed earlier – or stay up later so they sleep longer? What are the right things to say – or the wrong things to say?

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