Dear Parents,
You and I have the most important job on the planet! Our children are precious to us, but also to the Lord who entrusted them to us in the first place! So let me encourage you with something:
Maybe you’ve heard someone say: "God will always give you what you need to do what He has called you to do."
Here it is from the book of Hebrews:
“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 
equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight,
through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Hebrews 13:20-21.
I hope you caught that! God wants you to be great parents, and He will equip you to do it! We just need to listen to Him. Heed His counsel. Ask for - and follow - His wisdom.
But let’s not strap on the weight of perfection. And let’s not allow perfection to keep us stuck in neutral, either! Instead, let’s walk with Jesus and let the Spirit of God empower us. We’re going to miss it. We’re going to make mistakes. It’s part of the process. God is working IN us as He’s working THROUGH us to shepherd our kids.
Now I want to talk about some resources. I know you have google and the world wide web at your fingertips, but that can be overwhelming. For me it’s helpful to know the resources that trusted people recommend. So…assuming I’m a trusted person...let me point out a few things that I’ve been enjoying recently:
BOOKS
Parenting Beyond Your Capacity, by Reggie Joiner and Carey Nieuwhof
This is a pretty fast read, and I think you’ll find yourself encouraged AND challenged. The bottom line: your job as a parent is too big to do on your own. And the good news is you don’t have to! I think this is a must-read for every parent, especially as your kids get into grade school and you’re in the thick of the formative stage!
This is a fantastic look at how the Gospel can lead our parenting. For starters, the Gospel lets us know that we are broken, sinful parents; our kids are broken and sinful, too. So what we desperately need is the transforming grace of God; our kids need that, too. When we understand that many of our parenting struggles are issues of the heart, we can begin to approach them in a manner that will result not just in good behavior but in a transformed heart.
This one is a good read for ALL parents, but I especially encourage young parents to check this out. It can lay a great foundation for your parenting!
Parenting With Love & Logic, by Foster Cline and Jim Fay
This one was recommended to me by a friend who is a Christian and a pediatrician. I’m about halfway through it and I’m really learning a lot. Right now my daughters are 12, 9 and 7. We are trying to help them become responsible people who make wise choices. But sometimes, though we mean well, we don’t really give them the opportunity to make those choices. Either we just resort to telling them what to do, or we bail them out so they don’t taste the pain of failure.
But this book has also opened my eyes to the control factor. My kids (one in particular) want to be in control. But I’m the parent, so I want to be in control. And there’s the rub, right?! But I’m learning ways to help my kids feel like they are in control of their choices.
“We can hurt a little as we watch them learn life’s lessons now, or we can hurt a lot as we watch them grow up to be individuals unable to care for themselves" (p31).
"Children who grow in responsibility also grow in self-esteem, a prerequisite for achievement in the real world. As their self-esteem and self-confidence grow, children are better able to make it once the parental ties are cut” (p34).
The section on “fighting words vs. thinking words” has been worth the price of the book for me so far!
PODCASTS
Disclaimer - I have not listened to every episode. Opinions are of the speakers and not necessarily shared by me!
Pairadocs - I’ve recently listened to a few episodes from these guys. They are licensed counselors specializing in family counseling. They cover a wide variety of topics on the podcast from parenting to marriage to finances to social media. Short episodes are a plus!
God Centered Mom - I actually heard Heather MacFadyen on an episode of another podcast. She’s the mother of four boys. Her life is nuts. But she is learning how important it is to put God at the center of life, parenting, marriage. I haven’t heard many of her episodes, but what I have heard has been right on!
SOCIAL MEDIA/ APPS
Parent Cue - If you’re on Instagram you should follow Parent Cue. The posts range from encouraging quotes to great questions and conversation starters for your family.
Parent Cue also has a great app (FREE) that will customize material for you based on the ages/grades of your kids! You can also check out more resources at theparentcue.org. All the parent cue content comes from Orange - the creators of the curriculum our church uses for all our preschool classrooms.
From time to time I will share other family resources on here, Facebook and Instagram. Make sure you follow our pages if you’re on social media: 2RCChatt and 2RCChattKids.
Partnering with you!
Jon Teague
Families and Teaching Pastor