My Favorite Parenting Books and Resources
I'm often asked for recommendations on my favorite books on any particular topic, yet the one that I am most asked about is books on/for parenting. I thought it'd be helpful to have them all listed in one location, so here we are!
The books are broken up into the following categories: General Parenting, Prayer, Teaching Your Kids the Bible, Parenting Boys, Parenting Girls, and Other Resources. Both the title and book cover are linked, so click either to add to your Amazon cart! I've tried to include a very short description of each one, but if you have any further questions, leave a comment!
Spiritual Parenting - by Charles Spurgeon
Spiritual Parenting by Spurgeon is not only a great book for parents, but also for anyone that works in Kids Ministry. This book doesn't contain practical tips, but is rather more of a treatise on the great responsibility and privilege it is to be entrusted with a soul to point to Christ. If you've never read this book before, or if you find yourself becoming lazy or laid-back in your approach to spiritually training your kids, this book is a must read!
Teach Them Diligently - Lou Piolo
Whereas Spiritual Parenting provides the "why" behind being a diligent discipler of your kids, Teach Them Diligently is where you will find the "how." This book will teach you how to use the Bible in training up your kids in the way of the Lord.
Wise Words for Moms Chart - Ginger Hubbard
This is an absolute MUST for any mom who is committed to raising her kids God's way! This calendar-size chart contains common sinful behaviors, a definition, and provides verses that pertain to it. It is one of the most helpful parenting tools I own! And since it's so reasonably priced, I keep one in nearly every room of our house so that it's always easily accessible when a teaching moment presents itself!
Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes - Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller
Of all the parenting books I own, this is the one I have read the most. If whining, complaining, and bad attitudes are a problem in your home, I highly recommend this read! Filled with practical application and pointers.
The Lifegiving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming - Sally & Sarah Clarkson
In The Lifegiving Home, Sally and Sarah Clarkson provide both inspiration and very practical recommendations for making your home a haven for your family. I implemented many of their recommendations when I read this book a few years ago and these changes have helped cultivate the type of home I want my kids to grow up in and my husband to come home to.
The Tech-Wise Family - Andy Crouch
If it all possible, read The Lifegiving Home and then follow it up with The Tech-Wise Family. There are some similar ideas and recommendations in both and I found it quite helpful and inspiring to read these two books back to back. Again, we took several of the recommendations from this book and have loved the changes they have brought about in our family life!
Praying the Scripture for Your Children - Jodie Berndt
A true classic that belongs in any parenting library, Jodie Berndt's Praying the Scriptures for Your Children is a classic for a reason! The chapters are broken into specific categories of prayers where Berndt offers a simple and short explanation and then provides Bible verses for you to pray and insert your own children's names into. Truly a must-have.
Praying the Scripture for your Teens - Jodie Berndt
Follows the same format as above, but for the teen years.
Upside-Down Prayers for Parents - Lisa T. Bergren
This book is written as a 31-day devotional that I am confident you will want to return to again and again. Bergern challenges the parent to pray different prayers that you'd never think to pray - prayers like, "Let my child be lonely," "let my child fail," etc. all while showing you how to pray and point them to Jesus when those things inevitably do happen in their lives. An incredible book that will challenge the way you think about and pray for your kids.
Teaching Your Kids the Bible:
Bible Survey for Kids - Mike Fabarez
This is an excellent resource for teaching your kids an overview of every book of the Bible. It's written for ages 5 and up, but my husband and I found it most useful when our oldest two were in 2nd-4th grade. What's most fun about this is that you are bound to learn a lot too!
The Radical Book for Kids - Champ Thorton
This is such a fun book that is great for family devotions! Every chapter is only a few pages and has great graphics and pictures to keep the kids engaged. It explores everything from church history, to science, to the levitical priesthood, and everything in between! We read through one chapter a night for family devotions for over a year. Engaging for kids and adults of all ages.
Sticky Situations and Sticky Situations 2 - Betsy Schmitt
These books are great for elementary-age kids. They will provide opportunities to talk through a variety of situations. These books provide you the opportunity to teach your kids how to have a biblical worldview in situations they may find themselves in and provides the opportunity to think through with them how to respond in ways that are obedient to God and his word. Another great option for devotions.
The Awesome Book of Bible Trivia - Bob Phillips
This is such a fun book that is a must for any family library! Filled with a variety of Bible trivia from the simple/basic to the challenging, this book has something for the Bible scholar of all ages! This book comes with us on road trips and we have tons of fun passing it around and letting each member of the family quiz the others on their Bible knowledge.
The Gospel Story Bible - Marty Machowski
A great book for introducing your child to the characters of the Old and New Testament while showing how the entire Bible is all about Jesus!
The Case for Christ for Kids - Lee Strobel
This is a great resource for upper-elementary age kids. It's like dipping their toes in apologetics while reinforcing their faith and also giving them great tools in their pockets to combat the lies of the world. I took my girls through this book when they were in 4th and 5th grade and thought it was just the right age for this book.
Beyond Bible Basics - Mike Fabarez
An excellent resource for those upper elementary or middle school age kids, Beyond Bible Basics will stretch their knowledge of the Bible and will teach them core Christian doctrines. This book is designed for you to lead your child through.
This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years - Jaquelle Crowe
This book is excellent for any pre-teen or teen that has made a profession of faith. I read this book several years ago on my own and am actively reading through it with my older girls. I have many great things to say about this book and can not recommend it strongly enough. Once your pre-teen or teen makes a profession of faith, I highly recommend this book.
Raising Men, Not Boys - Mike Fabarez
If you are raising a son and get no other book from this list, get this one. Filled with the most practical help on how to raise our sons into godly, strong, capable men, this book is an absolute MUST.
Devoted: Great Men and Their Godly Moms - Tim Challies
If you are the mother of a son, I can not recommend this book strongly enough. Filled with the most inspiring and encouraging stories about the role of mothers in some of the most well-known men in church history: Timothy, Augustine, John Newton, Charles Spurgeon, John Piper, and many more, this book is sure to encourage and inspire any mom that seeks to raise her son to be a great soldier for the kingdom of heaven.
God's Wisdom for Little Boys - Jim and Elizabeth George
This sweet little book acts as the precursor to the "...After God's Own Heart" series. With all the teaching and application taken directly from the Proverbs, this is a great book to start reading with your sons at an early age.
A Boy After God's Own Heart - Jim George
Since my sons are not yet old enough for the next two books, I have not personally read them yet. However, I have many friends and mentors who highly recommend this series. My husband and I definitely plan on going through these books with our boys as they grow up.
A Young Man After God's Own Heart - Jim George
See above description.
A Little Girl After God's Own Heart - Elizabeth George
Filled with sweet little rhymes for each godly characteristic discussed, this will be a book your little girl will want to climb into your lap and read again and again.
A Girl After God's Own Heart - Elizabeth George
Taking the principles for George's "A Woman After God's Own Heart," these next two books are geared toward tweens and teens. Classics for any library of young women. Again, great for a mom to read together with her daughter(s).
A Young Woman After God's Own Heart - Elizabeth George
Let Me Be a Woman - Elisabeth Elliot
This is hands-down my favorite book on biblical womanhood. Written by Elisabeth to her daughter, Valerie, upon her engagement, Let Me Be a Woman, is Elliot's treatise on biblical womanhood and what it means to be a godly wife and mom. Written with the tenderness of a mother to a daughter and yet, with that straightforwardness that Elisabeth was known for, this is a book that any Christian mom of daughters (or any Christian woman for that matter) will benefit from reading. After I finished reading it the first time, I immediately went out and bought two copies that I have been saving to give to my daughters upon their engagements.
Your Child's Profession of Faith - Dennis Gundersen
A child making a profession of faith is what every Christian parent longs for, but what do we do after that happens? Many Christian parents struggle with not wanting to discourage young converts while also not wanting to provide false assurance of salvation. Your Child's Profession of Faith helps the Christian parent think-through and navigate these things.
Christian Heroes Then and Now Series (Books 1-5) (Books 6-10) (Books 11-15) (Books 16-20) - Janet & Geoff Benge
Our kids LOVE this series. If you are looking to point your kids to incredible heroes of church history, this series is for you! We've read several of these books together but we've also listened to several of them as audiobooks. This series is why our kids know the names and stories of Amy Carmichael, Corrie Ten Boom, Brother Andrew, Adoniram Judson, etc. Excellent books for any library!
Ten Girls Box Set - Irene Howat
This box set comes with 5 different books entitled: Ten Girls Who Didn't Give In, Ten Girls Who Made History, Ten Girls Who Changed the World, Ten Girls Who Used Their Talents, Ten Girls Who Made a Difference. Through the true accounts of each of the stories in these books, readers will be inspired to look to God as the giver of their gifts and talents while also encouraging them to do great things for him.
Ten Boys Who Box Set - Irene Howat
Same as above but for boys!
Tiny Theologians Card Sets
Tiny Theologians card sets are very helpful teaching tools for so many different aspects of the Christian faith. We own nearly every set but these are our favorites: ABC's of God's Attributes, ABC's of Theology, ABCs of the Names of God, Christ at the Center, Big Words of the Bible, Family Tree of Christ Advent Cards.
Our 3 big kids going through the Christ at the Center card set last year
Passport to Purity - Dennis and Barbara Rainey
When you're ready to have "the talk" with your preteen, this is the curriculum you'll want to have. Written from a Christian world view, this curriculum comes with everything you need to explain God's good design for sex with your child. It's not a book but rather a series of audio teachings that are designed to go over with your son or daughter on a weekend away together (fathers with sons and mothers with daughters). I took our girls through this a few years ago and am immensely thankful for such excellent curriculum written for Christian parents.