There are so many great books out there that I have never read…never heard of either! Someone told me recently that there are more than 50,000 books published every year. Wow. There was a time when it would have been relatively easy to know when a good book was published, a time when being a Best Seller was not about books “sold” through free give-aways on websites, like Amazon. Of course, the best book is the Good Book, and it has been a Best Seller as long as it has been published – that is really saying something!
The past few Fridays I have been sharing about books that have influenced me, and books that I use as references, and also online resources that help with my study of the Bible. Today, I want to share the last category of my favorite Bible resources with you: kids’ books. And by kids’ books I mean books that you need if you have kids!
Books with Wisdom for Parents:
Loving Our Kids on Purpose: Making a Heart to Heart Connection, by Danny Silk. This book introduces Love and Logic from a Christian perspective. It explains how we can equip our kids for life, and for eternity, by teaching them that every choice has a consequence. Talk about life lessons! I have two disagreements with this book and they are strong disagreements. First, it does not really address heart issues because this method really tolerates any amount of disrespect as long as the end result is compliance…and second, disrespect might be bred into kids if parents really talk to their kids they way the parents in this book, talk to theirs. I think communication is so important and our example, including how we talk to others, communicates more than anything else.
Raising Your Children For Christ, by Andrew Murray, a South African itinerant pastor who lived 1828-1917. This book is more about changing the hearts of parents, understanding what the Bible teaches about children and parents, and is a study of what we can learn from the covenant relationships in the Bible. The “chapters” are short so this would make a great devotional reading at night for parents. This is written from a Reformed theology perspective, so know that. It really gets to the heart of matters and convicts while offering hope too – what wisdom!
Shepherding a Child’s Heart, by Tedd Tripp, is almost 20 years old but has timeless appeal because the principles taught are biblical and true. His delivery has been off-putting to more than one mom I know, so you have to read around that, if it bothers you. I read this at a time when I was hungry for a how-to book…it is not exactly that, but teaches important principles that make you realize that you can’t implement behavior change till there is heart change. This book changed my heart, because it convicted me of all that needed to change in me before I had something relevant to teach my children about God. I detest his writing style and the organization within some chapters, but the content is solid. It is one of the standards in terms of Biblical parenting books.
Teach Them Diligently: How to use the Scriptures in Child Training by Lou Priolo is the better organized, better written version of Shepherding a Child’s Heart. If I had know about it first, I would have read it first and I might have skipped the other one altogether. I especially love the chart in the back that lists Bible verses associated with particular sins. If you have another book that has a chart like this, they probably got the idea from him. This is my absolute favorite parenting book.
Training Hearts, Teaching Minds: Family Devotions on the Shorter Catechism by Starr Meade is a (Monday – Saturday) weekly devotional for families. The author breaks down each question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism and gives the scriptural basis for the question. Some people see the WSC as just for certain denominations, but it is based on the Westminster Confession of Faith, completed in 1646, when the Church of England was trying to sort out its theology and invited other Protestant theologians to come together to work out what was really the truth about the Bible and Christianity. This process took over 8 years to complete! If you are a Protestant, you probably can find much common ground in this document. The Shorter Catechism breaks the Confession down into 107 questions and answers. We used this book (by Starr Meade) to teach the kids what we believe and why. Studying this together changed our family.
Bible Books Just for Kids:
The NIrV Adventure Bible for Early Readers. I have written about this version of the Bible before, click here for the most recent post. This is the real Bible, put in language that little ones can understand. We used this book for Bible readings at family devotional times, when they were small. When they were old enough, they got their own copy. Getting your own Bible was a big deal to them; it meant you were a READER! They have since moved on to the ESV, English Standard Version; but the NIrV has a special place in my heart for introducing them to the Word and making it relevant to their daily life.
The Lion Graphic Bible: The Whole Story from Genesis to Revelations This is a gritty comic book version of the Bible, from start to finish. This is really just my son’s book, but I wanted to share it with you. I love to see him lying on the sofa, intently studying the Graphic Bible.
These two “kid” books made the Bible accessible to my kids; and they have used them in reading the Bible for pleasure…so much so, that they have a much better knowledge of Bible facts than many adults. This was not my teaching or anything I did…this was just them seeing the Bible as what it is…an amazing story about Someone we love very much.
What books do you like to use when teaching your children?
Britta ~ I am justAgirl…just like you!