Parenting is a job for which no one is ever truly ready. Raise your hand if you were perfectly patient and kind the day your child came into your life. I know my husband and I weren't. We sure thought highly of ourselves though! We were just children ourselves. For the most part, we still are much like our children. We still make mistakes, act selfishly, and vie for control. We can be a hot mess.
It's not that we just need a few tweaks here and there to our methodology. Frequently we need to be reminded of the big picture; why on earth we are even given charge over children. Paul David Tripp does a fantastic job of summarizing this impossible task in his latest book: Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family. (Make sure to read to the end...I'm giving away a copy, and you really want to win it!)
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. See my full disclosure policy for more information.
Tripp introduces this concept with defining the role of a parent not as an owner of their children, but as an ambassador to their children. This is an important distinction in the application of parenting.
The only thing an ambassador does, if he's interested in keeping his job, is to faithfully represent the message, methods, and character of the leader who has sent him. -Paul David Tripp
Since we are sinful people, we all naturally tend towards ownership parenting rather than ambassador parenting. It is ridiculously difficult to see ourselves as message bearers while we're knee deep in Lego messes. When we start to catch a glimpse of the bigger story that we're invited to join in on when God assigns us children, it's pretty exciting. There is something greater than producing perfect puppets. It's all about soul shaping, and God is doing the heavy lifting.
Gospel Principles for Parenting
Paul David Tripp outlines 14 principles for parenting that are defined by the gospel. When we view our job as parents in light of the gospel, the task set before us undergoes a massive makeover, and peace is possible. Here are the highlights of the principles from the book:
- #1 Calling - God uses parents as tools to form human souls. There is no greater purpose.
- #2 Grace - If He calls you to it, He'll equip you and go with you.
- #3 Law - Children need the law, but don't expect the law to do what only grace can do.
- #4 Inability - There is no perfect parent.
- #5 Identity - Our identity needs to be focused on Christ, not our children.
- #6 Process - Change is a process and not an event.
- #7 Lost - The bad behavior in children stems from a lost condition.
- #8 Authority - Children need teaching and modeling of the protective beauty of authority.
- #9 Foolishness - The foolishness inside a child is more dangerous than the temptation outside of a child.
- #10 Character - Not all bad behavior is rebellion; much of it is a lack of character.
- #11 False Gods - We parent worshipers. What rules our children's hearts will control their behavior.
- #12 Control - The goal isn't control, but heart and life change.
- #13 Rest - Joy and patience can only come from resting in God's presence.
- #14 Mercy - No parent gives mercy better than the parent that is convinced that he desperately needs it himself.
Parenting by Paul David Tripp Giveaway
I'm happy to be able to give a copy of this incredible book away to one lucky reader. Your family will be blessed from your reading, so make sure to enter below, and share this with your friends. If you'd like to get a copy of this book sooner, you can find it on Amazon.
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.
What gospel principle are you most interested in reading more about?
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.