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Top 10 Christian Parenting Books

Updated on December 9, 2011

The Best books on Parenting I have found

So most people say that their babies didn't come with a guide book but I think there is one that we can find lots of help in. The Bible. The Bible is full of wisdom and helpful instruction on how to raise our little ones. I have found some really great books over the years that teach on what the bible has to say about kids and how to raise them. They have helped so much in my journey as a parent. I would like to share these with you and hope they help and instruct you along your parenting journey.

Shepherding a Child's Heart

By Tedd Tripp

Written for parents with children of any age, this insightful book provides perspectives and procedures for shepherding your child's heart into the paths of life. Shepherding a Child's Heart gives fresh biblical approaches to child rearing.

"With the plethora of material on parenting and the family, it is inspiring-and distressing-to see how few books are genuinely biblical. Here is a refreshing exception. Tedd Tripp offers solid, trustworthy, biblical help for parents. If you are looking for the right perspective, and practical help, you won't find a more excellent guide." -Pastor John MacArthur "Dr. Tripp's material on parenting is the clearest, most biblically framed, and most helpful that I have ever encountered. It has become the the backbone of my own parenting. I am not alone, either. His seminar tapes are by far the most frequently requested biblical teaching materials among my students, counselees, and friends." - Dr. Edward Welch, Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation

Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus

By Elyse M. Fitzpatrick, Jessica Thompson

All of us want to raise good kids. And we want to be good parents. But what exactly do we mean by "good?" And is "being good" really the point?

Mother-daughter team Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson contend that every way we try to make our kids "good" is simply an extension of Old Testament Law-a set of standards that is not only unable to save our children, but also powerless to change them.

No, rules are not the answer. What they need is GRACE.

Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson explain what makes Christian parenting unique: it isn't merely about turning out "good" kids; it's about pointing all of our kids to the Savior. While rules are a necessary part of parenting, Elyse and Jessica say, they aren't the primary theme, the work of Christ is. The law doesn't transform the heart...It only hardens them in pride (because they're successfully obeying it) or despair (because they aren't pg. 68).

One of the strengths of Give Them Grace is that it not only encourages the parent to give grace to his/her children, but it also gives a good measure of grace to the parent. Here are a few quotes to whet your appetite:

We must trust in His "ability to transform hearts, not in our ability to be consistent or faithful...Freedom to love and enjoy our children flows out of the knowledge that God saves them in spite of our best efforts, not because of them. Salvation of the Lord" (pg. 53).

It's not up to me; it's a work of God. "When we're quietly resting in grace, we'll have grace to give our children, too. When we're freed from the ultimate responsibility of being their savior, we'll find our parenting burden becoming easy and light" (pg. 55).

Elyse and Jessica touch briefly on idolatry and unbelief as it pertains to parenting:

"We have far too high a view of our ability to shape our children and far too low a view of God's love and trustworthiness. So we multiply techniques and try to control the outcome" (pg. 57).

Future Men

By Douglas Wilson

As much as it may distress us, our boys are future men.When Theodore Roosevelt taught Sunday school for a time, a boy showed up one Sunday with a black eye. He admitted he had been fighting and on a Sunday too. He told the future president that a bigger boy had been pinching his sister, and so he fought him. TR told him that he had done perfectly right and gave him a dollar. The stodgy vestrymen thought this was a bit much, and so they let their exuberant Sunday school teacher go. What a loss.Unbelief cannot look past surfaces. Unbelief squashes; faith teaches. Faith takes a boy aside and tells him that this part of what he did was good, while that other part of he did got in the way. "And this is how to do it better next time."As we look to Scripture for patterns of masculinity for our sons, we find them manifested perfectly in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the one who set the ultimate pattern for friendship and courage, for faithfulness and integrity.

Wilson's "Future Men" is another invaluable work in the family series he and his wife have penned. The book spells out solid Christian principles, neither becoming preachy nor overly sentimental, but refutes twin the dangers of false masculinity and the feminization of young men. Wilson never makes excuses for immature behavior, but demonstrating how boys can be forged into men by teaching them through their adolescent foolishness. One of the other reviewers missed this key point, thinking that Wilson would have us believe that punching someone's lights out is his answer to Godliness. Wilson only points out that the child in the story about Teddy Roosevelt was acting on good principles, but did so in an immature way. Roosevelt rewarded the child, not for his immature action, but for his desire to preserve and protect the honor of his sister. Wilson constantly admonishes and encourages parents with the wisdom of the Proverbs, helping them to see through the troubles of teaching a boy to the joy of biblical manhood.

Praise Her in the Gates: The Calling of Christian Motherhood

Nancy Wilson

Give her the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates. (Proverbs 31:31)

For a Christian woman, motherhood is the subtle art of building a house in grace: "The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands" (Prov. 14:1). Each day's work is significant, for it contributes toward the long-term plan. Each nail helps a house stand in a storm. But motherhood isn't a simple formula. Building a home—childbirth, education, discipline—requires holy joy and a love of beauty. The mother who fears God does not fear the future.

Don't Make Me Count to Three

By Ginger Plowman

Do you find yourself threatening, repeating your instructions, or raising your voice in an attempt to get your children to obey? Are you discouraged because it seems you just can't reach the heart of your child? Through personal experience and the practical application of Scripture, Ginger Plowman encouraged and equips moms to reach past the outward behavior of their children and dive deeply into the issues of the heart. Ginger's candid approach will help moms move beyond the frustrations of not knowing how to handle issues of disobedience and into a confident, well-balanced approach to raising their children.

Growing Kids God's Way: Biblical Ethics for Parenting

By Gary Ezzo, Anne Marie Ezzo

Growing Kids God’s Way (GKGW) is a comprehensive values-based parenting curriculum now utilized by more than 10,000 churches and schools worldwide and serves over a million households. In 2007 the student manual entered its 91st printing. There are several reasons why Growing Kids God’s Way is popular with the masses. The message is clear, the information speaks to the heart and mind of the child, the lessons are practical and the results are compelling ─ morally responsible children with a healthy view of self and others. The curriculum is designed for small group studies or to be utilized by individuals in the privacy of their own home.

Topics include: How to help children internalize virtues and values and practically live out the character of God in their life. What parents do to foster insecure children and how they can fix the problems that might now exist. How to say “I love you” to your children and spouse in such a way that each member actually feels the full sensation of parental love. How fathers build or undermine their children’s sense of trust and confidence in parental leadership and how to build family loyalty and identity. What is true character and how to teach children to love and prefer each other? Parents learn what true biblical discipline is about and how to achieve first-time obedience. The curriculum also teaches how to train right behavior into children so you will not have to spend unnecessary time correcting wrong behavior. It also establishes practical ways to help children master their own self-control and make it a lifetime habit. There are numerous examples, charts and teaching tools that assist the learning process along with a number of insightful appendices, each of which has helped internationally popularize the curriculum.

Duties of Parents

By J.C. Ryle

One of the most challenging (and rewarding) positions a person may find themselves in is that of a parent. Unfortunately, few prepare for this great responsibility, even though it is part of the majority of one's life. J.C. Ryle comes to the rescue once again, with sound Biblical advice to aid in this daunting task.

Originally published in the 19th century, this short book contains 17 nuggets of wisdom for training children. You could easily read the entire book in a single evening. Or for those who are pressed for time, keep it handy, and read a chapter anytime you have a spare minute.

The principles which are outlined in this book are not quick fixes. Parenting is hard work, but if you put into practice the things which are mentioned, your children will be prepared for a lifetime.

Remember, you are parenting for eternity.

Disciplines of a Godly Family

By R. Kent Hughes

Disciplines of a Godly Family covers such topics asestablishing a solid family heritage, promoting affection betweenfamily members, encouraging godliness in children, usingappropriate discipline, and helping children cultivate enrichinglifelong habits. The Hugheses also offer tips for fun andaffordable family vacations, creating family traditions, andstarting a prayer notebook. They even give us a suggested list ofbooks and videos that should be in every family's library.

For those struggling to parent their own children or to equipother parents for this task, a more practical, honest, andcommon-sense guide will be hard to find.

To Train Up A Child

By Michael Pearl

Three thousand years ago, a wise man said, "Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." Good training is not crisis management; it is what you do before the need of discipline arises.

Most parenting is accidental rather than deliberate. Imagine building a house that way. We don't need to reinvent training. There are child training principles and methods that have worked from antiquity. To neglect deliberate training is to shove your child into a sea of choices and passions without a boat of compass.

This book is not about discipline, nor problem children. The emphasis is on the training of a child before the need to discipline arises. It is apparent that, though they expect obedience, most parents never attempt to train their child to obey. They wait until the behavior becomes unbearable and then explode. With proper training, discipline can be reduced to 5% of what many now practice. As you come to understand the difference between training and discipline, you will have a renewed vision for your family, no more raised voices, no contention, no bad attitudes, fewer spankings, a cheerful atmosphere in the home, and total obedience from your children.

OFFICIAL STATEMENT of No Greater Joy Ministries on Hana Williams' Death

"We share in the sadness over the tragic death of Hana Williams. What her parents allegedly did is diametrically opposed to the philosophy of No Greater Joy Ministries (NGJ) and what is taught in the book, To Train Up a Child (see quotes below). We are grieved by Hana's death as well as the nearly 1,700 other children that die in this country every year as the result of neglect or abuse. This is part of the motivation of NGJ to provide materials that are helping parents to raise healthy and happy children.

Here are quotes from the book that actually warn against abuse.


"Train up-not beat up. Train up-not discipline up." "A child needs more than 'obedience training', but without first training him, discipline is insufficient" page 4

"Disciplinary actions can easily become excessive and oppressive if you set aside the tool of training and depend on discipline alone to do the training." Page 9

"Parent, have you trained yourself not to discipline immediately but to wait until your irritation builds into anger? If so, then you have allowed anger to become your inducement to discipline." Page 25

"Parent, if you are having problems with your children, you can be assured that you are not alone. Your children are also having problems with you. You are going to have to make adjustments in your own life if you are going to help them with their problems." "… the responsibility for making a significant change is completely yours." Page 32

"There are always some who act in the extreme. These individuals are capable of using what has been said about the legitimate use of the rod to justify ongoing brutality to their children." page 50
"The rod should never be a vent for parents' anger. Where the supreme motivation is anything other than the child's good, it is inevitable that such behavior by the parent will assuredly create problems." page 51

These quotes and the rest of the book are about turning the hearts of parents to the children and the hearts of children to the parents.

If, as alleged, Hana's parents owned a copy of the book, it is obvious from these quotes and their actions, that they either have not read it or totally ignored its contents. The book repeated warns parents against abuse and emphasizes the parents' responsibility to love and properly care for their children, which includes training them for success. There are thousands upon thousands of parents (the book has sold over 670,000 copies) who have and are properly applying the philosophy in the book with the joyous results of happy, productive, well-adjusted children in loving successful families.

The alleged presence of the book makes it no more responsible for Hana's death than the presence of a weight loss book in the home of an overweight person is responsible for their obesity. Its presence is actually recognition that there was a problem and obtaining the book was an effort to solve it. Unfortunately, if Hana's parents own a copy they chose to ignore (or twist) the contents of the book that could have corrected their poor parenting and prevented the abuse and her death.

It is our desire to redouble our efforts to help families and to prevent future tragedies.

Michael Pearl, President

No Greater Joy Ministries"

Polished Cornerstones and Plants Grown Up

By Pam Foster


One day we noticed that our boys were growing up on us! There was (and is) still lots more to teach them about becoming godly men! We realized that we needed goals to aim for and a plan to help us reach those goals. Plants Grown Up is the result. This 500-page, spiral-bound book offers hundreds of ideas for Bible study projects, reading material, and practical, everyday activities to help train your sons for godly manhood. One copy of this book can be used with all your sons from the time they can memorize simple Bible verses until the day they each get married. (And then they can save it to use with your grandsons!) Each chapter offers a variety of reading, writing, Bible study, and active projects for you to choose from for each of your unique sons. Projects in each chapter are listed in order according to increased difficulty. Start work in each area with young boys, and continue to disciple your sons with increasingly more difficult assignments. Each project is labeled with the school subject it relates to, enabling homeschoolers to easily incorporate projects into their regular school plans. Evaluation questions at the end of each chapter help parents and sons pinpoint weaknesses, discuss areas of improvement, and pray specifically for spiritual growth. Many reproducible charts and forms encourage serious Bible study and self-examination. Fully quoted memory verses (King James Version) make consistent memorization and review easier. Sources are listed for all recommended resources. Reproducible planning sheets, calendar pages, record sheets help you organize to reach your goals. PLANTS GROWN UP can help you raise your boys for God's glory! It is also a great resource for boys' club ministries, grandparents who want to be more involved with their grandchildren, and counselors seeking practical learning projects for boys. Over 500 pages.


Raising daughters can be a challenging task! How will we ever teach them everything they need to know? Polished Cornerstones can help! This 575-page, spiral-bound book will help you focus on the skills and attitudes your daughters need to develop. Polished Cornerstones offers hundreds of different ideas for Bible study projects, reading material, and practical, everyday activities to help prepare your daughters for godly womanhood (and to help them live godly lives as young women). Polished Cornerstones is a tool that allows you to be flexible, picking and choosing from a variety of projects to meet each daughter's unique needs. Projects in each chapter are listed in order according to increased difficulty so that you can start work in each area with very young girls, and continue to disciple your daughters with increasingly more challenging assignments. Each project is also labeled with the school subjects it relates to so that homeschoolers can incorporate projects into their academic school day. Each chapter includes evaluation questions for parents and daughters. These help pinpoint weak areas, stimulate discussion, and lead to more specific prayer with and for your daughters. Includes many charts and forms to encourage serious family and independent Bible study. Your daughter will learn how to be a student of the Word as she completes these projects. Reproducible forms mean that one copy of this book will serve for all your daughters (and maybe even a few granddaughters!). Resource lists at the back of the book make it easy to locate and purchase supplementary resources. Spiral-Bound for easy use.

Please comment and share if this list has encouraged you - Or if you have any questions related to parenting

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm reading Grace based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel.

      I personally can't recommend this book enough.

      A wonderful resource and should be on the list.

      I'm buying more copies to give to my own children when they're off and married.

    • MayaBella LM profile image

      MayaBella LM 6 years ago

      @Mozaika: Im so glad! I pray that the Lord would be glorified by this and that you would be blessed in your parenting!

    • Mozaika profile image

      Mozaika 6 years ago

      MayaBella, I love this lens! What a great find for me! I am a Christian, raising three little ones, so all these books are a great suggestion. Definitely bookmarking your lens!

    • Sunflower Susan profile image

      Sunflower Susan 6 years ago

      The only one here that I've read is Shepherding A Child's Heart, which is very good. Lovely lens. :o)

    • ViJuvenate profile image

      ViJuvenate 6 years ago

      These are great books. I'm on a different browser today, one that shows ads. Too bad about the ad to the side of this really great lens. Good lens. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Joshu145 6 years ago

      Maybe if there were more parents out there that understood the proper way to raise a child the world would be in a better place. Thank you for encouraging the proper way to raise your children. :)

    • MayaBella LM profile image

      MayaBella LM 6 years ago

      @tvyps: Thank you so much for your encouragement! I will take your suggestions and go fix those things. Thanks so much!

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Fabulous lens! You have done an exceptional job and this lens should be much higher in rank...I am blessing it and also will try to bring it to the attention of some others. As a lens tip, change the names "Guestbook Comment" and "Lens Love Widget" on your lenses. It should help you a little. Check out some of mine to see what I write. I am not an expert but change up the titles somewhat.

    • MayaBella LM profile image

      MayaBella LM 6 years ago

      First i want to say I am so very sorry that you had such a hurtful experience growing up. But the way you described your mom chastising you is not what the bible teaches. I understand your concern as many who have not read these books have assumed the same. But I have read all of these books, including the Pearls book, none instruct you to "beat" your child. All instruct never to chastise if you are angry or disciplining out of personal offense or anger. Those people who lose control and beat their children are terribly wrong and the bible does not instruct that but calls that sin. These books do not teach to beat your children. All instruct to use talking, time outs, privileges taking away and the rod depending on the circumstance and personality of the child.

      I would love to talk with you more about this through email if you want. :)

    • TeacherSerenia profile image

      TeacherSerenia 6 years ago

      Everyone knows that the book by the Pearls emphasises corporal punishment and quite a number of children have died after being BEATEN to death by parents who claim to be discplining their kids as the Pearls reccomrnd.

      Sorry but I cannot recommend anyone using ANY Of these books when the bible itself says to use the ro - which means beating your child - just because you think they are being rude and they talk back to you. You should be removing privileges from your children, NOT beating them.

      My mother (who claimed to be a christian) frequently whacked me around the legs with a wooden spoon when I was growing up. She NEVER thought to ground me, nor did she remove privileges, I discipline my son by removing privileges. It actally works too.


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