Being a parent is not difficult. It just takes having someone who refers to you as “mom” or “dad.” Being a great parent, though, is a different story. That requires practice, study, and learning from plenty of mistakes. Which one do you plan on being?
On Father’s Day I received a text that I thought I had received by accident. I thought that surely this person wasn’t talking about me. After going back and forth a few texts, I realized the text was indeed intended for me. Here is what it said:
You are truly one of the best fathers I have ever known. You have begun a generation of over-comers, a legacy of godly manhood and leadership that will be for God’s glory for generations to come!
What an incredible message to receive. It made my day. Honestly, the text itself made me feel good, but it went much deeper than merely a compliment. It served as a huge reminder to me. It reminded me of the kind of dad I hope to be for all of my kids.
As a dad, I want my sons & daughters to grow up to know, love and walk with the Lord Jesus. I want them to be confident in who God has made them, and to look for ways to join God at work. Because of this, I read a lot on being a great father.
Here are a few books that I would recommend that you might not know of…
1. King Me – Steve Farrar. If I remember correctly, this book is a comparison of some righteous kings in the Old Testament. I still remember the line that stuck out from this book: “Are you focused on raising future kings, or on building a future kingdom?” That’s a paraphrase, but close enough. I’ve always looked at my kids as future kings and queens, largely because of the impact of reading this. I’m also more inclined to this book because years ago the author’s daughter worked for me, as did one of his sons. I asked them what they thought of their dad. Without hesitation they said he was unbelievable. That alone made me more interested in what he had to say.
2. Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters – Meg Meeker, MD. This isn’t a christian book, per say. It’s not intended to inspire and motivate. The author is a medical doctor, and really discusses the need girls have for a strong dad in their life. I remember she gives the simple advice to be present when your daughter comes home from a date. Let the boyfriend see you waiting up for your little girl. The book begins with the in-your-face truth that – as a dad – you are the most important man in her life. Wow. Great reminder.
3. Family Shepherds – Voddie Baucham. Voddie is a bit of an “in your face” author and speaker. He takes strong stances on many issues. I wouldn’t say I agree with everything he says in this book, but it definitely impacted a few things I do. I remember he pointed out that many kids never see their parents worship, because they are always separated from them at church. Great point. We actually changed our family routine because of this. Instead of just going to their sunday school class, once a month I let our older kids come into the service with us. They hear my wife and I sing, and see us follow along with the sermon. It has made for rich conversation after the service.
4. What Every Man Wishes His Father Had Told Him – Byron Forrest Yawn. The author makes the point we have too many earthly pictures of manhood that we try to emulate. Instead, we need only to look to Jesus. In him there is so much to learn about biblical masculinity. From that point he walks through topics like accountability, sex, work, grace, and plenty of others. Just seeing the different topics to cover with sons was extremely valuable to me.
5. Raising Kids For True Greatness – Dr. Tim Kimmel. Many of you know Tim Kimmel is a personal friend of mine. He is probably best known for his book, Grace Based Parenting. This book isn’t quite as well known. However, this book has probably had the most impact on my philosophy of parenting than anything else I’ve ever read. His point: Don’t aim for success in raising your kids; aim for true greatness. This book talks about building into your kids a servant’s heart, a humble heart, a grateful heart and a generous heart.
Ok, so if you’ve read my blog before, you’ll notice we just changed out the comments section. Now it is easier than ever to leave a comment, just by using your Facebook profile. I hope this allows for much more wisdom and interaction with the posts that I write. So my question for today…
What other parenting books would you recommend?