This Should Be On Every Parent's Bookshelf
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
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.