Resources are powerful tools to encourage our children to grow deeper in their faith and mature in their character. I have found this to be true with my own children, and I hope that you find this to be true as well!  Here is a list of resources that I hope you will find helpful. I pray that these will be great tools to bring God’s Word and truths into your home as you create an environment of knowing, loving, and following the Lord with your children.

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The following book reviews are solely my opinion having reviewed and applied principles from them with my children.  Be sure to check back for more great resources to come!

The Power of a Praying® Parent
By: Stormie Omartian
Harvest House Publishing

I love this book because it gives such a powerful reminder of how important prayer is as a parent.  I tend to get caught up in what I can do for my kids and forget the importance of releasing them to God in prayer.  Stormie explains the importance of prayer as a way to participate in the real, unseen spiritual battle in our kids’ lives rather than just sitting on the sidelines.  There are 30 topics to pray for your children, and each chapter includes personal remarks from Stormie about each topic, a powerful prayer to pray for your children, and related scripture verses to pray through. Some of the topics include peer pressure, safety, relationship with God, and giftings/talents.  I wrote the topics and some of the scriptures in my journal to remind myself to continue to pray through these on a rotating schedule. If you are looking for ways to revamp your prayer life for your kids, I would definitely recommend this book!

Raising Kingdom Kids: Giving Your Child a Living Faith
By: Tony Evans
A Focus on the Family Book, Tyndall Publishing

I ran across this book when I was searching  to see if anyone had used the name “Growing Kids for the Kingdom” that I wanted to use for my website.  Since the book was clearly related to my vision, and I love Tony Evans, I decided to read it, and I am glad I did!  Dr. Tony Evans’ writing is filled with so much wisdom and inspiration that you will come away passionate to raise your kids by God’s standards, not the worlds.  Section one of the book talks about establishing a kingdom mindset in parenting, and he gives great illustrations and examples from his own family of what this looks like.  Section two is about cultivating a kingdom atmosphere in your home with topics such as the importance of encouraging your kids, teaching honor and respect, communicating openly, and spending time in God’s word together.  Section three instructs on instilling kingdom virtues within your kids, such as integrity, faith, and purity.  I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to gain wisdom and a passion to raise their kids for a higher purpose.

A Mom After God’s Own Heart: 10 Ways to Love Your Children (George, Elizabeth (Insp))
By: Elizabeth George
Harvest House Publishers

I have always been a fan of Elizabeth George books, so naturally I bought this one and read it when my kids were very young.  Going back through it now, I realize what a profound influence this book had on my parenting and desire to raise my kids to wholeheartedly know, love, and follow God.  The book encourages moms to raise their children to have a heart to follow God while also dealing with the sin that is so prevalent in a child’s heart.  Practical ideas are given to raise and train kids in godly ways.  Reading this book is like getting to sit down with a godly, mom-mentor and glean abundant wisdom and encouragement on your journey of motherhood. It’s a must read for any mom, in my opinion!

Bringing Up Girls Bringing Up Boys

By: Dr. James Dobson
Tyndale House Publishers

My husband and I read both of these books, and we learned a wealth of information specific to raising each gender.  Dr. James Dobson, a renowned Christian psychologist and founder of Focus on the Family, looks into difficult issues dealing with each gender.  He provides wisdom in raising children by Biblical standards in the midst of a world full of negative influences. Bringing up Girls presents topics such as femininity, purity, beauty, friends, puberty, and the importance of the role of the father.  Bringing up Boys presents topics such as masculinity, the role of mothers and fathers, discipline, and sexuality. Both books are full of great information including the science behind the make up of each gender, alarming national statistics, and touching stories of encouragement.   These are two books we will definitely be reading again as our kids approach teenage years!

Shepherding a Child’s Heart
By: Tedd Tripp

This is a staple Christian parenting book for many families I know, including our own.  Tedd Tripp lays a foundation of what it looks like to raise children in obedience and respectfulness.  He discusses the need for children to learn to submit to their parents’ authority, so they in turn grow up to submit to God as their ultimate authority.   Specific strategies are taught to reach the heart of a child while disciplining, so the child will learn not to obey out of obligation, but out of respect and reverence to God and those in authority over them.

Grace-Based Parenting
By: Dr. Tim Kimmel
Thomas Nelson Publishing

I recently listened to the abridged audio version of Grace Based Parenting, and I thought it was a great book every Christian parent should read. It provides a nice balance between discipline and grace, and it gives an understanding of how to parent with a mindset of grace. Dr. Kimmel discusses ways to meet our children’s inner needs for security, purpose, and strength. He discusses the importance of allowing children freedom to be open with us, to be unique in how God created them, and to make mistakes and learn from them. While Dr. Kimmel is definitely for discipline and consequences, he also reminds us to discipline for the right reasons- not out of fear, control, or a desire to uphold a certain image, but to parent the way our Heavenly Father parents us- through His unconditional love and grace.

Why Can’t I Get My Kids to Behave?
By: Joey and Carla Link
WestBow Press

This is the perfect book for those wanting practical steps to help teach their kids obedience and respectfulness. Joey and Carla have over 20 years experience in principles of parenting and have been writers and teachers on the subject for many years. In this book, the Links get to the heart of obedience and provide practical tools to help train kids that are easy to understand and implement. Parenting tools such as making routines, setting consequences, and giving positive reinforcement are discussed and taught. I have listened to a lot of the Link’s podcasts over the years and have applied the principles that they discuss in them and this book with great success. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve their parenting and their children’s behavior.

The Toddlerhood Transition: Parenting Your Eighteen to Thirty-Six Month Old
By: Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo
Growing Families International 

Toddlerhood is one of the most difficult stages to parent, and as a mom it can be very tiring and frustrating.  Toddlers are by nature selfish and want to do things their own way, and thus they are often rudely awakened to the fact that the world doesn’t revolve around their desires.  The Toddlerhood Transition resource has some great ideas for training toddlers, which I implemented and found very effective. It also made disciplining in elementary years much easier. Topics include focusing on “why” we discipline before the “how,” the need for structure and routine, how to teach obedience and self control to toddlers, and different ways to both praise and correct your toddler during the training process.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone wanting to start training positive behaviors in the toddler years.

Parenting from the Tree of Life
By: Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo
Growing Families International 

This Tree of Life Series series is by the same authors of the Toddlerhood Transition but geared towards elementary children. My husband and I went through the curriculum with some friends recently.  The videos are filled with lots of Biblically based principles for training behaviors and visual examples of how to implement them.  One such principle that sets this curriculum apart from others is an overarching theme of communicating words that bring life to your child rather than death.  For example,  the series teaches that if your children are yelling at each other, you should ask, “are you being kind?” rather than say, “stop being so mean.”  Always pointing to the positive words creates a positive atmosphere in your home and prevents your children from being labeled with negative words that unintentionally become part of their identity. There are seventeen “visits” or videos divided into three sections.  The first is focused on relationships and talks about the importance of a healthy marriage, speaking your child’s love language, and speaking words of life to your child.  The second section is focused on character training and gives practical principles to teach traits such as kindness, respect, and good manners. The third section is about training behavior, and a great emphasis is placed on teaching positive behaviors to minimize the need for correction of negative behaviors. I am so thankful for this curriculum and the wisdom I have learned in training my kids.  The benefits of having happy, respectful children with minimal discipline issues is worth the time invested in this series!