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Top 13 Christian Parenting Books of 2013

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Every December, I like to take a look back at the year that has been, as well as reflect on what I hope is to come.

What does that mean exactly?

I revisit our family’s calendar to see where we’ve been, what we’ve done and how we spend our time. I look through photos from the year and then pick out the best ones to incorporate into photo books and frames. (There may or may not be a few years’ worth of my ‘highlights’ sitting in an organized row on my guest room floor… just maybe).

I also enjoy taking a look at all the books that have stayed on my nightstand.

The books that hold that coveted spot – nightstand status- are the ones I keep near me for obvious reasons: they’ve impacted my life to the point that I want to revisit and reread them over and over again.

I don’t often find the time to consume the entire book for a second reading, but thanks to my trusty system of color-coded pens and dog-eared pages (don’t judge), I can always find quick inspiration when I need it (and please don’t leave any comments about how an e-reader or tablet would make my life so much easier…I’m simply not ready to make that leap yet).

So instead of keeping all that wisdom to myself this year, I wanted to share with you my picks for the Top 13 Christian Parenting Books of 2013. These are books that have blessed my life this year as I’ve taken on this new role as FaithGateway Family’s chief curator. I get to read A LOT of Christian parenting books these days, but these are some of the highlights among all the books that came out in 2013.

Top 13 Christian Parenting Books of 2013

Moms in PrayerMoms in Prayer
Fern Nichols is a passionate believer in the power of prayer. She knows that a regular habit of prayer can change things – can bring home wayward children, heal broken marriages, and provide answers to desperate situations. In Moms In Prayer, Fern Nichols reveals how she teaches women to pray in a way that changes their lives and the lives of those they love. She teaches the principles and practices that will not only revolutionize the way people think about prayer, but the way they do pray, leading them into a deeper intimacy with Jesus, who is always interceding on our behalf. Read more…

Praying the Scriptures for Your ChildrenPraying the Scriptures for Your Children
Jodie Berndt shows you how to make the Bible a book of prayers that can powerfully influence your children’s lives. You’ll discover how to pray specifically and expectantly for their faith, character, safety, relationships, and future. You’ll gain new, biblical perspectives on God’s purposes for your children. And through the encouragement of the Scriptures and true-life stories, you’ll find out what a huge difference your prayers really make in the lives of those you love most. Read more…

Desperate is for those who love their children to the depths of their souls but who have also curled up under their covers, fighting back tears, and begging God for help. In Desperate you will find the story of one young mother’s honest account of the desperate feelings experienced in motherhood and one experienced mentor’s realistic and gentle exhortations that were forged in the trenches of raising her own four children. Watch the video and read more…

How to Raise Selfless KidsHow to Raise Selfless Kids in a Self-Centered World
In this third book from the Faithful Families series, How to Raise Selfless Kids in a Self-Centered World, Dave Stone continues to share his practical, conversational, and humorous approach to the challenges of building a strong spiritual foundation for the family. He equips parents with what they need to raise kids whose focus is not always on themselves. Some topics include: Becoming Others Focused, Service, Generosity, Forgiveness, and much more. Read more…

Intentional ParentingIntentional Parenting
Intentional Parenting is built around 12 chapters that each dispel some of the most common parenting myths and reminds all parents of truths that can empower them to be not only the parents that their children need but that God has called them to be. The book helps you discover first who you are and then takes that healthy person into a discovery of being more intentional, playful, consistent, merciful, and connected to your children. Read more…

Love & Respect in the FamilyLove & Respect in the Family
When frustrated with an unresponsive child, a parent doesn’t declare, “You don’t love me.” Instead the parent asserts, “You are being disrespectful right now.” A parent needs to feel respected, especially during conflicts. When upset a child does not whine, “You don’t respect me.” Instead, a child pouts, “You don’t love me.” A child needs to feel loved, especially during disputes. But here’s the rub: An unloved child (or teen) negatively reacts in a way that feels disrespectful to a parent. A disrespected parent negatively reacts in a way that feels unloving to the child. This dynamic gives birth to the FAMILY CRAZY CYCLE. So how is one to break out of this cycle? Watch the video and read more…

Raise Him UpRaise Him Up
There is no greater hope for single mothers than to watch their sons succeed, and African-American single mothers face more adversity than most. Raise Him Up delves into the challenges faced by African-American single moms and offers advice, scriptural support, and helpful prayers. Each chapter relates a spiritual point taken from the book of Acts, a mother’s story, and draws parallels to the struggles of the modern day African-American mother. Read more…

The Christian Mama's GuidesThe Christian Mama’s Guides
With these 4 books, you’ll have everything you’ll need to know about having a baby, caring for your baby during that first year, tips and tricks on parenting at their toddler age, and how to prepare your young child for those first days at grade school. The Christian Mama’s Guide to Having a Baby provides everything you need to know about pregnancy—from weight gain to stretch marks to figuring out how to rely on Christ through the ups and downs of the next nine months. The Christian Mama’s Guide to Baby’s First Year offers entertaining, practical advice with a dose of humor and a lot of grace so that new moms can become the moms that God intended them to be during their baby’s first year. The Christian Mama’s Guide to Parenting a Toddler helps mothers handle those tears and tantrums during those toddler years. The Christian Mama’s Guide to the Grade School Years equips moms to learn how to cover their children in prayer so that their launch into the world, and away from her control, is done with grace and wisdom—helping them grow into the men and women God intended them to be. Read more…

The Christian Parenting HandbookThe Christian Parenting Handbook
With advice on parenting coming from several angles, what do you listen to and what do you ignore? Develop your own biblical philosophy of parenting and use it to filter the many ideas that come your way. In this book you’ll learn how to: identify character qualities to address problems, build internal motivation, transfer responsibility for change to the child, teach kids to be solvers instead of whiners, use creativity to teach your kids spiritual truths, avoid the “boxing ring”, envision a positive future, and much more! Read more…

The Passionate MomThe Passionate Mom
Motherhood is full of uncertainty. What do my children really need? Why are they doing that? Is this normal? What can I do to help them? How can I know for certain that I am doing this right? The logistics are easy. Anybody can do laundry and carpool. But what makes a mother the best mom she can be? It’s not better scheduling. Or more activities. Or less. It is passion—the passion to teach, protect, study, and prepare her children for the future. Great, but how? Read more…

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Whether or not you find the time to read all ten of these parenting books or just skim through one, I pray your family will be blessed as a result like mine has. Keep in mind Romans 8:28:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Join the Conversation

It’s not the book itself that makes you a great parent, but rather the heart that fuels that desire when surrendered to God’s ultimate purpose for us as parents. What has been the parenting book that has held “nightstand status” next to your bed this year? I’d love to hear what book has impacted you the most in 2013! Leave your comments below.