Green, Rob and Stephanie. Tying Their Shoes: A Christ-Centered Approach to Preparing for Parenting. New Growth Press, Greensboro, NC. 2019. 176 pages.
One of the most exciting pieces of news I love to hear about or read is when friends or family announce they are expecting. To see these couples become parents brings joy to my heart. That is why I delight in equipping these expectant parents with resources to guide them as they enter parenthood. However, the challenge has been to find a resource that is robustly biblical, immensely practical, and written with both the father and mother in mind. Thanks to Rob and Stephanie Green that challenge has been met in Tying Their Shoes: A Christ-Centered Approach to Preparing for Parenting.
Preparing for and Parenting a Child
Written, in some ways, as a follow-up to Rob Green’s premarital guide, Tying the Knot, Rob and Stephanie Green counsel expectant parents on raising children in the way of the Lord, particularly from preparing for the baby’s arrival through toddler age. As parents of children who have seen the likes of middle school, high school, and young adulthood, the Greens want parents to know their identity must be rooted in Christ, not in their parenting (chapter 1). This starts even before the baby’s birth as husbands and wives follow the biblical command to prioritize their marriage before all other human relationships (chapter 2) and are called to remember biblical truths during the labor and delivery phase (chapter 3). As the baby is born, parents must adjust to this new lifestyle as they prepare to go home and steward their sleep, money, and heart as they are entrusted with the gift of a child (chapters 4-8). With the child at home, the final section of the book takes a look at dad’s involvement in parenting (chapter 9), the desire for rest and “me time” (chapter 10), sexual intimacy as a new parent (chapter 11), and matters of teaching and discipline (chapter 12). The book concludes with a final chapter on parents casting their cares on God (chapter 13).
A Tool Every New Parent Needs
Tying Their Shoes by Rob and Stephanie Green is a tool every parent needs in their toolbox. The book is both robustly biblical and immensely practical, laying Scripture as the foundation for the goal and life of parenting and providing practical steps such as equipment to purchase for a nursery room and counsel on nursing. The exercises at the end of each chapter drive this point of a practical guide home too. The personal stories the Green family shares will resonate with new and seasoned parents. Many of the chapter’s opening paragraphs summarize previous ones, making the book clear in its presentation and helpful in the reader retaining its content. The book also does a considerable job to include sections on caring for children with special needs (chapter 2), dealing with children who have disabilities (chapter 8), and sharing an important word on abuse (chapter 12).
Yet, what may be one of the most helpful features of Tying Their Shoes is the thought it gives toward community. In a similar vein to Tying the Knot, Tying Their Shoes reminds parents they do not have to go at this alone. They have the Lord to cast their cares on and He has provided them with church community to come alongside them. Chapter 4 briefly mentions this on having appropriate help but the first appendix at the end of the book “For Mentors” is a great example of having more seasoned parents come alongside to disciple and encourage new parents in this exciting season of life. For those who may come across this resource but have yet to surrender their lives to the lordship of Christ, the Greens has provided a second appendix entitled “Need for Jesus”.
While one could wonder why chapter 2 “Help Your New Baby by Prioritizing Your Marriage” and chapter 6 “Work Together—Not Against—Each Other” are not side-by-side since they seem to contain the same theme, Tying Their Shoes is sure to be a book new parents will want to keep by their side as they prepare and parent. I know the next time I hear of someone who is expecting their first child, I will be giving them a copy of this book. If you are a seasoned parent who is looking to invest in new parents or a soon-to-be grandparent who is wanting to equip your own kid in their new roles, then you will want to make sure you check out this resource too!
I received this book from New Growth Press in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.