One of the challenges of being a parent these days is the barrage of advice about what it means to be “a good parent.” It’s so easy to get so distracted by the ideals and methods of modern culture that we lose sight of the basics of biblical parenting.
This is why some of my favorite parenting books are by or about parents from over a hundred years ago—JC Ryle’s Duties of Parents and Shaping of a Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliot (about her parents’ parenting). Free from the clutter of today’s cultural commands, books like these help me focus more clearly on God’s parenting principles.
Recently I added a new book to my list of parenting book favorites: Hints for Parents by Gardiner Spring. This short book is simple, convicting, and encouraging. In four sections, Spring lays out biblical priorities for parenting, methods to achieve those goals, motivations, and finally—what every parents needs most—“courage” to carry on.
“God means for us to renounce our self-confidence and feel our dependence on him” writes Spring:
“When we fail—as certainly we will to some extent—we will lie prostrate on our faces and carry our children to the God of all grace and power. The sooner, more earnestly, and more submissively we do this, the more reason we have to hope.
Parental tenderness is the most pure, the most faithful, and the most energetic, when prayer nourishes it. It is as God’s mercy seat that a parent’s love all flows out. And God reveals his mercy exactly as our children need it.”
This little book would make a valuable addition to your parenting library.