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Saturday, June 8, 2024

Book Review: Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul David Tripp

BOOK review
Started on: 22 March 2024
Finished on: 19 April 2024
Title: Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family
Author: Paul David Tripp
Publisher: Crossway Books
Pages: 216 pages / 226 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication: 2016
Price: Rp 410,000 (

Rating: 5/5
"In the middle of all the endless parenting activities, many parents get lost. They are doing lots of things, lots of good things, but they don't know why. They've been swallowed up into the daily grind of parenting, but they've lost sight of what it is that they're working for or building toward."
These days, parents tend to get lost in everything that needs to be done daily. Under the pressure to do everything right and raise good children, it's easy to lose sight of our ultimate purpose and calling as parents. Many are always looking for practical tips and guaranteed formulas to help them in their parenting journey. In this book, Paul David Tripp offers more than just a mere to-do list. He presents the big-picture view of God's plans for us as parents. With fourteen foundational principles centered on the gospel, the author shows that we need more than just a parenting strategy or a list of techniques. What we ultimately need is the rescuing grace of God that has the power to shape how we view everything we do as parents. This book's goal is to free us from the burden of trying to change our children's hearts and embrace a grand perspective of parenting.
"The one who called you to this very important job is with you and because he is, there’s hope. Sure there will be times when you’ll find yourself at the end of your rope, but fight fear and discouragement with expectancy; your Savior’s rope never ends and he will never leave you alone!"

As a first-time parent, I'm always eager to read parenting books to help my journey and make it somewhat easier—which is exactly what the blurb of this book mentioned. However, I am intrigued by the idea of having a new perspective on parenting that this book offers. I've also read several books by Paul David Tripp, so I'm sure I will easily enjoy his writing style. Now that I've finished reading it, I'm truly grateful I decided to read this book because it has completely shifted my perspective and freed me from the burdens I've carried unnecessarily on my shoulders. I love how the idea presented in this book is gospel-centered and gives me the assurance that I need as I walk on this parenthood journey. In this review, I'd like to share a few impactful chapters that will give a general idea of the content of this book.
"No one gives grace better than a parent who humbly admits that he desperately needs it himself."
"You can rest when you don’t understand what is going on because the One who sent you is never confused and never surprised. You can rest in the middle of parenting mysteries because you know that the One that you represent knows no mystery."
Since having a child, it feels like I have no time to rest. When the baby is awake, I have to tend to her needs. When the baby is asleep, I worry about what needs to be done the next day and what unexpected challenges might come tomorrow. Thus, the thirteenth principle in this book is so impactful to me because it's titled Rest. When there is so much I don't understand in this parenting journey, the author assured me that God is never confused or surprised. This chapter also includes a list of God's promises that I'd love to print and frame on a wall because I need to be reminded of them daily. Some of those promises are: You will not be punished for your failure, you are welcomed by grace to a new beginning, you are not left to your limited resources, don't have to load the burden of your children’s welfare on your shoulders every morning, God will never close his ears to your cries for help, and more. Throughout this book, Paul David Tripp emphasizes that we have no power to transform our children from what they are to what they should be—only God can do it. Therefore, we can rest in God's presence and be faithful in being His ambassadors in our children's lives.
Another chapter that I'd like to share in this review can be found at the end of this book, the final principle: Mercy. One of the constant reminders throughout this book is about how much we, as a parent, need mercy and grace as much as our children do. I love how the author points out that mercy is not about being wishy-washy or letting your standards down. It's also not acting as if the bad things our children do are okay and abandon discipline. Instead, mercy is parenting with a tender heart, blessing our children with patience, being firm and loving at the same time, refusing to use shame and threats to motivate them, and so on. As we continue to remind ourselves of how much we need mercy and grace from God, we will have the desire to extend the same thing to our children. I think this principle will help us a lot when our patience is thinning and our children keep challenging our authority as parents.
"It is vital that you believe and admit that you have no power whatsoever to change your child."
"Parenting is not about exercising power for change in your children. Parenting is about your humble faithfulness in being willing to participate in God’s work of change for the sake of your children. Parents, here’s what you need to understand: God has given you authority for the work of change, but has not granted you the power to make that change happen."
There are still so many incredible thoughts in this book that I won't share in this review to avoid it becoming too long. However, I do believe that every parent will benefit a lot from reading this book. Paul David Tripp also includes various scenarios as relatable examples for parents who might have experienced it in their journey. These stories prove that using shame, guilt, or reward on our children does not produce the long-lasting change our hearts desire. At the end of this book, I am convinced we have to rely on God who has the ultimate power to transform our children's hearts.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to any parent who is also a believer—because it has completely changed my perspective and given me the peace of mind that was lost at the beginning of my parenthood journey. As usual, Paul Tripp's writing is easy to read despite the thought-provoking ideas he presented in his books. To close this review, I'd like to share a quote from this book: God is working on you through your children so that he can work through you for your children. Becoming a parent has become the most humbling experience in my life and reminded me how much I need God. Therefore, parenting is not just about guiding our children, but also learning to become a better ambassador for God day by day. I will definitely recommend more parenting books that are worth reading in the days to come!
"Parenting is not a series of dramatic confrontation-confession events, but rather a life-long process of incremental awareness and progressive change."
"Parenting is not just about getting your children to do something, but helping them to see so that they would desire to do it."
by.stefaniesugia♥ .

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