If you've been a parent for a few years or more, I highly recommend Gary Thomas' book, Sacred Parenting. I remember reading part of it as a new parent and then setting it back on the shelf to find something more hands-on and practical. Now, with three children, and a little more experience behind me, I've picked up this book again and it has spoken to me in a fresh way. Sacred Parenting differs from most parenting books as it spends more time on the "why" of parenting then it does the "how-to." And this is crucial since the "why" will inevitably affect the "how to." Thomas' words are helpful here:
What if one of God's primary intentions for you as a parent isn't about successfully raising perfect children, but about your becoming more holy? The truth is, we are living in the midst of holy teachers. Sometimes they spit up on themselves or us. Sometimes they throw tantrums. Sometimes they cuddle and kiss and love us. In the good and the bad they mold our hearts, shape our souls, and invite us to experience God in newer and deeper ways.
I encourage you to pick up this book and let God parent you and shape you through your children. Gary Thomas also wrote the following books I highly recommend as resources for couples.
- Sacred Marriage ... one of our favorite books on marriage!
- Devotions for Sacred Parenting
- Devotions for Sacred Marriage
- Sacred Influence: How God Uses Wives to Shape the Souls of Their Husbands