Tying Their Shoes: A Christ-Centered Approach to Preparing for Parenting

Rob Green
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Through a gospel-centered approach to parenting, Tying Their Shoes by Rob and Stephanie Green lays the foundation for expecting parents to welcome a new addition into their home in light of the gospel. First-time, soon-to-be parents and moms and dads expecting an additional child will find Christ-centered hope, practical advice, and encouragement toward parental unity in this invaluable resource.

Authors Rob and Stephanie Green know a baby brings many wonderful changes for both biological and adoptive parents. While other parenting resources help expectant parents prepare for the physical and emotional work of child-rearing, the Greens address the all-important spiritual foundation needed for parenting. They help parents understand and apply the gospelÑthe best resource to ground couples in their relationships with the Lord, with each other, and with their children.

The challenges of parenting do bring stress, but this book guides expectant moms and dads to turn toward the Lord with all of the strains of this new season of life. Sharing from both a mother's and father's perspective, Rob and Stephanie Green dive into the goal of parenting, the blessings of parenting, pregnancy and labor, marital intimacy, biblical discipline, and other practical realities of first-time parents.

Above all else, Rob and Stephanie Green equip soon-to-be parents to create a gospel-centered home and mind-set, lovingly pointing couples to our Father who cares for his children and is with them every step of the way.


Robert E. Green MDiv, PhD, is the pastor of counseling and seminary ministries at Faith Church, Lafayette, Indiana. Rob wrote Tying the Knot and several smaller works on marriage and family issues. Rob and his wife, Stephanie, have three children.
Stephanie E. Green, RN, is a homemaker and heavily involved in mentoring women in Faith Church, Lafayette, Indiana. She is the author of minibook, Miscarriage: You Are Not Alone and worked as a registered nurse for over a decade primarily in the newborn nursery and postpartum units. Stephanie and her husband, Rob, have three children.

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"Rob and Stephanie have written a book on the preparation and process of early parenthood that balances out the biblical and practical eminently well. With practical advice flowing out of their biblical convictions, they neither prescribe nor mandate, but offer sage advice for a time in life when most couples desperately need it. This will now replace diapers as my go-to gift for newly expectant parents!"

Jonathan Holmes, Pastor of Counseling, Parkside Church; executive director, Fieldstone Counseling

"As a friend, I've had the privilege of watching the Greens' children thrive under their care. I've also seen the impact of their first book, Tying the Knot, as we use it to prepare couples in our church for marriage. This new volume is filled with the same kind of wisdom, grace, and focus on Christ that characterized their first book, so I expect to see God use this just as greatly for his glory."

Brad Bigney, Pastor of Grace Fellowship; ACBC certified counselor; conference speaker; author of Gospel Treason: Betraying the Gospel with Hidden Idols

"Tying Their Shoes, by Rob and Stephanie Green, offers exactly what the subtitle suggests. It is a Christ-centered approach to preparing for parenting. Don't take that subtitle promise lightly. Some books on parenting provide a broad, Christ-centered approach, but they never address the nitty-gritty details of real-life parenting. Other parenting books talk about a ton of details, but you wonder where the gospel makes a foundational impact. In Tying Their Shoes, Rob and Stephanie provide that rare balance: a parenting book that relates gospel reality to daily reality. Tying Their Shoes will be my go-to book to recommend to young parents, just as Tying the Knot has been the number one book I recommend to engaged couples."

Bob Kellemen, Vice President and Academic Dean, Faith Bible Seminary; author of Raising Kids in the Way of Grace

"I find this book to be very helpful for couples who really want to get it right as it relates to parenting from a biblical perspective with the right heart attitude. Rob has a unique way of doing exegesis and exposition so that it connects to the heart of individuals and the issues that need to be addressed. The stories and illustrations are heartfelt and very insightful. This book will help a lot of families."

Nicolas Ellen, Senior Professor of Biblical Counseling, the College of Biblical Studies; senior pastor, Community of Faith Bible Church

"What a book! Rob and Stephanie engagingly apply God's Word to the minute details of pregnancy, labor and delivery, raising babies, marital adjustments, and more. My wife, Lauren, and I commend it as a gospel-driven, hope-giving, refreshingly transparent (we loved their humble admissions of failure), and surprisingly practical biblical guide for every expectant or new parentÑand all of us who love them (and are looking for gift ideas)."

Robert D. Jones, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author of Pursuing Peace and Uprooting Anger

"I would have loved to read this book with my wife prior to the birth of our first child. It's full of practical and wise advice from a godly couple."

Andy Naselli, Associate Professor of New Testament and Theology, Bethlehem College & Seminary; elder, Bethlehem Baptist Church

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6 Reviews

  • 5
    Both practical and actionable

    Posted by Donna Feyen on 06 10 2019

    Tying Their Shoes is just want it mentioned. The authors strive to share a christ center approach to parenting and might I add not forgetting your spouse. In addition to the true parenting advice you may be searching for; they discuss keeping your marriage healthy, the dad's involvement and 'me time'. You both need God honored rest; don't feel guilty about that. The mentor section in the back is a helpful addition.

  • 4
    Not the same-old-same christ-centered parenting book!

    Posted by Lori H on 06 10 2019

    Have you ever heard a parent comment on how they were unsure how to approach parenting? They are then inundated with tons of well-meant information that is not very practical. Think here about the “sleep when the baby sleeps” type of advice. The idea is great but in reality, it just doesn’t work that way. At least it didn’t for me. Tying Their Shoes is different. It is a thoughtful, Christ-centered approach to parenting as a whole, knowing that parenting is the greatest of all stewardship opportunities God gives. Realizing that children are images of the living God should influence each aspect of parenting. The full title of this book is Tying Their Shoes: A Christ-Centered Approach to Preparing for Parenting. It is written by Rob and Stephanie Green, who have three children of their own. The introduction is just that – introducing the reader to the Greens and their family and introducing what they are trying to accomplish with this book for parents. They recognize that the world is completely different when a child enters the family. “In fact, it is earthshaking. Two people who are used to caring for themselves bring home a little baby who requires constant care. . . It is a joyful, terrifying, exciting, and intimidating experience.” Recognizing how God grace is going to help them through each moment is what most parents struggle with the most and that is the hope of this book – to see how God walks with parents through their parenting little souls. First up – know your identity. Knowing who you are and how all the relationships you are part of work together can make adding a child to the mix easier. But not everyone knows this. Identity is how we think about ourselves and so it is important for this to be solid. Where is your identity found? The answer should be in Christ. This chapter helps strengthen that understanding if you have it already and if it is one you struggle with, there are Bible verses to help you understand God’s love for you and His place in your life. Next the reader is brought through a chapter designed to help you prioritize your marriage. Without this priority in place, the child can easily use up a lot of your time, leaving you disconnected with your spouse. This makes everything harder. This chapter helps you put your marriage in the place it belongs and keep God at the center of it. Tying Their Shoes Additional chapters help you see God through in the difficulties of each step in parenting. The chapters include: The Lord is My Shepherd – Labor and Delivery Be Prepared to go Home Accomplish the Goal in Parenting Work Together – Not Against Each Other Stewardship of Sleep, Money, and the Heart The Blessings of Parenting Dad’s Involvement All I Want Is “Me Time” Sexual Intimacy as a New Parent Learning to Teach and Discipline Cast Your Cares on God The advice that comes through each of these chapters is practical, honest, and centered on God. Not everything in the book is something that will resonate with every reader. But there is much good. So take the things that will help you and don’t worry about the rest. While the Greens try hard to focus on what God has told us in the Bible with their advice, this is not God’s word and we don’t need to treat it as such. So, take what you can use and move on. Don’t worry about the rest. It may come in handy at a later date and it may not. But I found there to be much good advice in here. If you are looking for a Christ-centered parenting book that is not the same old, same old, this is it. Take a good look at Tying Their Shoes by Rob and Stephanie Green.

  • 5
    This Should Be On Every Parent's Bookshelf

    Posted by Zack Ford on 04 11 2019

    Welcoming in a new child to a family is a life-changing event that is fraught with a whole range of emotions — excitement, fear, anxiety, and thankfulness, just to name a few. As new parents expecting your first child (or even your second or third child), what are you to expect? What changes should you be prepared for? How will this new addition to your family change the dynamics of your marriage and your home life? How will you keep everything balanced? All of these are important questions. Then you have a whole host of practical considerations — epidural or not, MD or midwife, hospital or home, nursing or bottle. And of course, ask ten different people and you’re bound to get ten different opinions. It can all be a bit overwhelming for any parent. Is there any Biblical advice for new parents out there? Pre-Parenting Counseling? As Christians, many of us see the value and importance of pre-marital counseling. We understand that in this new marriage, a young man and young woman are entering into a brand new phase of their life, and there are many things that need to be discussed and that they need to receive godly, biblical input on in order to enter into their marriage prepared for the long-haul. If that is the case for marriage, shouldn’t that be a similar case for parenting? Yet, in my experience, no such pre-parenting counseling exists. Sure, there are countless resources out there that help new parents think through things like sleep training and discipline and nursing and so forth. But what about a resource that helps Christian parents prepare themselves in a godly, Bible-centered way for the changes that are coming with the addition of this child to the family? A New Book A new book that helps meet this need is by Rob and Stephanie Green, titled Tying Their Shoes: A Christ-Centered Approach to Preparing for Parenting. In the introduction, the Green’s explain how, when they were searching for resources several years ago when they had their third child, they were able to find resources like I mentioned above. But what was lacking was a resource like the one they have written here. They say: “What we needed to prepare us for this transition from the two of us to the three of us was something far more than a guide to pregnancy and a plan to survive infancy (although both were helpful). We needed to understand how God’s grace was going to help us every step of the way. We needed to see God’s grace in the days when everything was going according to plan. And we needed to see God’s grace when the day was crashing” (3). What follows in the rest of this book is an incredibly practical and helpful Christ-Centered guide to new parents on preparing for parenting. Over the course of 13 chapters, Rob and Stephanie Green provide the reader with Biblical wisdom, personal stories, pastoral comfort and guidance, and general wisdom for any parent, whether preparing for their first or their seventh child. Throughout the chapters the Green’s focus on several key themes, including the primacy of marriage over parenting, the crucial reminder of our identity in Christ over everything else, the value of both the mother and father working together by serving and helping one another, and the general heart posture of leaning on God and His wisdom, guidance, care, and comfort in all things, from the most trivial and mundane to the most heart-wrenching, trying times of parenting. Below are the thirteen chapters that are included in the book. 1. Identity in Christ and Parenting 2. Help Your New Baby by Prioritizing Your Marriage 3. The Lord is My Shepherd — Labor and Delivery 4. Be Prepared to Go Home 5. Accomplish the Goal in Parenting 6. Work Together — Not Against — Each Other 7. Stewardship of Sleep, Money, and the Heart 8. The Blessings of Parenting 9. Dad’s Involvement 10. All I Want Is “Me Time” 11. Sexual Intimacy as a New Parent 12. Learning to Teach and Discipline 13. Cast Your Cares on God Conclusion As a parent of two, with our youngest having just turned one and our oldest almost four, I was greatly helped by this book even now. But I absolutely wish that I had this book four or five years ago when we were preparing for the birth of our firstborn, or even a year or so ago as we prepared for our second. Parenting is an incredible joy and privilege, but it is also hard work. I would strongly encourage any couple — whether parents or not — to get a copy of this book and work through it together as a couple. I would doubly encourage any couple that is expecting a child to grab a copy immediately and work through this book. From the biblical wisdom to the personal stories, you will find this to be an incredibly readable book, but more important, an incredibly Christ-Centered and Biblical book. I would strongly recommend this book be on the shelf of every Christian parent. In accordance with FTC regulations I would like to thank New Growth Press for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  • 5
    A Tool Every Need Parent Needs

    Posted by Theron St. John on 04 08 2019

    One of the most exciting pieces of news I love to hear about or read is when friends or family announce they are expecting. To see these couples become parents brings joy to my heart. That is why I delight in equipping these expectant parents with resources to guide them as they enter parenthood. However, the challenge has been to find a resource that is robustly biblical, immensely practical, and written with both the father and mother in mind. Thanks to Rob and Stephanie Green that challenge has been met in Tying Their Shoes: A Christ-Centered Approach to Preparing for Parenting. Preparing for and Parenting a Child Written, in some ways, as a follow-up to Rob Green’s premarital guide, Tying the Knot, Rob and Stephanie Green counsel expectant parents on raising children in the way of the Lord, particularly from preparing for the baby’s arrival through toddler age. As parents of children who have seen the likes of middle school, high school, and young adulthood, the Greens want parents to know their identity must be rooted in Christ, not in their parenting (chapter 1). This starts even before the baby’s birth as husbands and wives follow the biblical command to prioritize their marriage before all other human relationships (chapter 2) and are called to remember biblical truths during the labor and delivery phase (chapter 3). As the baby is born, parents must adjust to this new lifestyle as they prepare to go home and steward their sleep, money, and heart as they are entrusted with the gift of a child (chapters 4-8). With the child at home, the final section of the book takes a look at dad’s involvement in parenting (chapter 9), the desire for rest and “me time” (chapter 10), sexual intimacy as a new parent (chapter 11), and matters of teaching and discipline (chapter 12). The book concludes with a final chapter on parents casting their cares on God (chapter 13). A Tool Every New Parent Needs Tying Their Shoes by Rob and Stephanie Green is a tool every parent needs in their toolbox. The book is both robustly biblical and immensely practical, laying Scripture as the foundation for the goal and life of parenting and providing practical steps such as equipment to purchase for a nursery room and counsel on nursing. The exercises at the end of each chapter drive this point of a practical guide home too. The personal stories the Green family shares will resonate with new and seasoned parents. Many of the chapter’s opening paragraphs summarize previous ones, making the book clear in its presentation and helpful in the reader retaining its content. The book also does a considerable job to include sections on caring for children with special needs (chapter 2), dealing with children who have disabilities (chapter 8), and sharing an important word on abuse (chapter 12). Yet, what may be one of the most helpful features of Tying Their Shoes is the thought it gives toward community. In a similar vein to Tying the Knot, Tying Their Shoes reminds parents they do not have to go at this alone. They have the Lord to cast their cares on and He has provided them with church community to come alongside them. Chapter 4 briefly mentions this on having appropriate help but the first appendix at the end of the book “For Mentors” is a great example of having more seasoned parents come alongside to disciple and encourage new parents in this exciting season of life. For those who may come across this resource but have yet to surrender their lives to the lordship of Christ, the Greens has provided a second appendix entitled “Need for Jesus”. While one could wonder why chapter 2 “Help Your New Baby by Prioritizing Your Marriage” and chapter 6 “Work Together—Not Against—Each Other” are not side-by-side since they seem to contain the same theme, Tying Their Shoes is sure to be a book new parents will want to keep by their side as they prepare and parent. I know the next time I hear of someone who is expecting their first child, I will be giving them a copy of this book. If you are a seasoned parent who is looking to invest in new parents or a soon-to-be grandparent who is wanting to equip your own kid in their new roles, then you will want to make sure you check out this resource too! I received this book from New Growth Press in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.

  • 4
    A scripturally saturated guide for impending parents

    Posted by Wendy on 03 17 2019

    A scripturally saturated guide for impending parents, covering a mix of theological concepts, principles and practical application in a format that gives insight, wisdom, things to ponder and decisions to make as they approach parenthood. With larger topics that cover your true identity in Christ, prioritising your marriage, as well as the goals and blessings of parenting, there is much for couples to ponder. There are also more practical considerations, such as how to approach birth, the equipment you might actually need, and how dads can ensure they are involved. Recommended reading for Christian couples who want solid, biblical input and wisdom as they prepare for parenthood.

  • 5
    I highly recommend this book!

    Posted by Jodie Price on 02 26 2019

    I loved the personal and conversational tone that Rob and Stephanie took, it felt like I was chatting with some old friends about preparing for a child. I felt like the book had a lot of prayer and love written into it. I definitely feel like it's the perfect gift to give an expectant family, either welcoming a child via adoption or pregnancy.

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