For many of us, summer is a time when the responsibilities slow down as the days grow long. Daily rhythms of school and work are broken up by vacations, and many find themselves with more time to sleep, relax, and maybe even read a book or two. As we continue our summer reading recommendations, I want to focus particularly on children and families. More specifically, I want to recommend one book for parents to read with their children, and one book for parents to read for themselves about leading their children spiritually.
Some of you will already know that I have spent the last few months streaming various children’s books on Thursday afternoons. Throughout this time, one book in particular has stood out to me—The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. This book takes great care to teach children the overarching narrative of Scripture; it seeks to communicates clearly how each and every Bible story is part of God’s plan of salvation, from the first pages of Genesis to the final pages of Revelation. As you may have already guessed from the title, each chapter intentionally ends by pointing to one very important person—the true hero of the biblical narrative—Jesus Himself. No other children’s book in my recent memory does a better job of clearly connecting every story to Jesus, every time. A few insights from this book even took me by surprise, and I can genuinely say that reading this book has helped me better understand the narrative of Scripture for myself. I could hardly think of a better book to help children learn the Bible while also maybe even teaching parents a thing or two along the way.
Second, I want to recommend a book for parents who want to grow in their ability to lead their children spiritually—especially those who don’t know where to start. Family Worship by Donald Whitney is a (mercifully) small little book which explains concisely what the Bible says about family worship, how family worship has been practiced by Christians throughout history, and how parents can incorporate family worship in their own family’s rhythms and routines. Dr. Whitney was a professor of mine, and I can think of very few people more qualified to teach others about spiritual formation. He has spent many decades honing and refining his ability to communicate clearly and accessibly, and consequently, this is not a book that will overwhelm you, even if you aren’t a fast reader. It is simple, practical help for parents in an age when family worship has often been pushed to the sidelines in our daily lives.
As usual, I could think of many other books to recommend. But, in such a short space, I can think of no two better books to recommend than these. If you are interested in other resources, please don’t hesitate to reach out and speak with me. I would be more than happy to talk with you further and give you further recommendations!
All the best,