David Parker did an excellent job preaching to our hearts from Ephesians 6:1-4, "Family Beyond Imagination." I wanted to follow-up that sermon and the previous one, "Marriage Beyond Imagination" with some practical resources on Marriage, Family, Singleness, and Sexuality. Some are useful for studying with your kids, and others are more for individuals or couples. Also, before buying a resource, you may want to check our church library in the back of the Main Gathering Room. If you own any of these resources and wanted to donate them to our church library because you are no longer using them, we would welcome that as well.
Not Yet Married: The Pursuit of Joy in Singleness and Dating by Marshall Segal- "Many of you grew up assuming that marriage would meet all of your needs and unlock God’s purposes for you. But God has far more planned for you than your future marriage."
Love Me Anyway: How God's Perfect Love Fulfills our Deepest Longing by Jared C. Wilson - "There may be no more powerful desire in the human heart than to be loved. And not just loved, but loved anyway. In spite of what we've done or left undone, in spite of the ways we have failed or floundered. We long for an unconditional, lavish love that we know intrinsically we don't deserve."
I Still Do by Dave Harvey - "When your spouse suffers. When dreams disappoint. When you're tempted to point fingers. When the kids leave the nest. It's how we think and behave toward one another in moments like these that determines whether our marriage endures or falters."
Marriage by Paul David Tripp - "When you say “I do,” you begin the journey of a lifetime― and you have dreams of that journey being perfect. But it won’t take long for expectations of the perfect marriage to fade away in the struggles of everyday life. A long-term, vibrant marriage needs to be grounded in something sturdier than romance―it needs the life-changing power of the gospel."
Family Discipleship by Matt Chandler and Adam Griffin - "Pastors Matt Chandler and Adam Griffin have made it their mission to help you develop a sustainable rhythm of gospel-centered discipleship focused in three key areas: time, moments, and milestones. Filled with suggestions, sample plans, and Scripture references, this book begins with the end in mind―equipping you to create a unique plan for your family as you raise your children in the love and fear of the Lord."
Bible Reading with Your Kids by Jon Nielson - "What do you wish for your kids? As a Christian father, to have them grow up to love Jesus and live faithfully for God would no doubt be at the top of your list. But how does that actually happen? What can you do do to advance that goal? In this short and extremely practical guide, Jon Nielson reminds fathers that reading the Bible each day with our kids is crucial."
Parenting by Paul Tripp - "In this life-giving book, Paul Tripp offers parents much more than a to-do list. Instead, he presents us with a big-picture view of God’s plan for us as parents. Outlining fourteen foundational principles centered on the gospel, he shows that we need more than the latest parenting strategy or list of techniques. Rather, we need the rescuing grace of God―grace that has the power to shape how we view everything we do as parents."
Habits of the Household by Justin Whitmel Earley - "Discover simple habits and easy-to-implement daily rhythms that will help you find meaning beyond the chaos of family life as you create a home where kids and parents alike practice how to love God and each other."
Resources to Use with Young Children:
The Beginner's Gospel Story Bible by Jared Kennedy - "The Beginner's Gospel Story Bible is a gospel-centered, Bible storybook for toddlers and preschoolers with fifty-two Bible stories retold in a simple and compelling way."
The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones - "While other kids’ Bibles contain stories from the Old and New Testaments, The Jesus Storybook Bible tells the Story beneath all the stories in the Bible, pointing to Jesus as our Savior. From the Old Testament through the New Testament, as the Story unfolds, children will clearly see that Jesus is at the center of God's great story of salvation—and at the center of their story too."
God is Better than Trucks by Sarah Reju (see also, God is Better Than Princesses) - From Pastor Ben: I just found these books this week and thought they were a great take on the traditional A-Z truck and princess books common to children's literature.
Big Theology for Little Hearts Series (The Gospel, God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, Creation, The Church) -"Each book in the Big Theology for Little Hearts series introduces a big idea from the Bible with concise definitions and engaging illustrations to help young minds gain a foundational understanding of God's word."
Seeds Family Worship - "Seeds creates fun, energetic worship music and videos to word-for-word scripture for kids, families, & children’s ministries. We have a library of 187 songs and 274 videos that make memorizing the Bible easy and fun! Our songs are written for kids but made to be enjoyed by the whole family."
Owlegories - Little Owls teach big lessons about God and his Creation through the use of allegory.
Resources to Use with Elementary Age Children:
The Gospel Story Bible by Marty Machowski - "This easy-to-read storybook introduces your family to many captivating people, places, and events in Christian History from both the Bible's Old and New Testaments, showing how each one ultimately points to Jesus Christ. As you share these Bible Stories together, you and your family will meet Jesus and learn a new, life-changing way of recognizing Jesus Christ as the hero of every story."
The Action Bible by Sergio Cariello - "The Action Bible presents more than 230 fast-paced narratives in chronological order, making it easy to follow the Bible’s historical flow and building up to the thrilling climax of God’s redemptive story."
The Ology by Marty Machowski - "The Ology is a starting point to learning theology and aims to create a hunger and desire in children to learn more as they grow older. Designed for six-year-olds through preteens, this flexible resource includes built-in adaptations so the entire families can enjoy it together."
Exploring the Bible: Bible Reading Plan for Kids by David Murray - "Exploring the Bible leads kids ages 6–12 through the Bible one day at a time over the course of a year. For use alongside any Bible, this workbook will help them see the overarching story of God's Word and lay the foundation for a lifetime of discovering truths about God, humanity, and the gospel."
Good News for Little Hearts series by CCEF - "The Good News for Little Hearts series brings gospel help and biblical counsel to families. Based on CCEF’s model of help and hope, each story focuses on an animal family’s real-life issues, encouraging young readers toward a growing relationship with Jesus in the midst of challenging circumstances. Each individual story guides parents toward meaningful conversations with their kids, based on what Scripture has to say about living by faith in everyday life."
The Talk - "When it comes to the matter of teaching kids about sex, Christian parents are often confused about what to say and when to say it. The Talk is a series of 7 studies, all anchored in the Scriptures, that helps parents to talk meaningfully with children about sexuality. The Talk was written for parents to read with children ages 6 to 10 years old. The study supplies elementary-age children with foundational truths about sexuality at a level they can understand."
Little Pilgrim's Progress: From John Bunyan's Classic by Helen Taylor - "Helen L. Taylor took John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress and simplified the vocabulary and concepts for young readers while keeping the storyline intact.... It's both a simple adventure story and a profound allegory of the Christian journey through life, a delightful read with a message kids ages 6 to 12 can understand and remember. A new look and fresh illustrations for today's children enlivens the journey to the Celestial City."
The Voices of the Martyrs: Graphic Novel Anthology - "Voices of the Martyrs, A.D. 34 - A.D. 203 covers the earliest period of church history. Though we will never know how many have given their lives for following Jesus Christ, this volume contains the stories of the first, and best known. Men and women who were faithful to their Savior, regardless the cost."
Resources to use with TeenagerS
Current Sermon Series Reading Plans through Oak Hill - Help your kids develop good Bible Study and Prayer habits using the current reading plans that our church produces.
Pilgrims Progress in Modern English by John Bunyan and Edited by Daniel Frayer-Griggs- "Acclaimed as one of the greatest literary masterpieces in the world, John Bunyan’s beloved allegory has captivated reader’s attention for centuries while providing insight into the Christian life. Now, a modern-language translation with vivid illustrations brings this epic journey to life. Follow Christian and Christiana, a man and his wife on adventurous odysseys across rough terrain, over sunlit hills, and through dark and foreboding valleys filled with giants, lions, and ruffians. Their trek is an intriguing spiritual allegory for our day, infused with the chivalric adventure of yesterday. Join this heroic pilgrimage as it makes its way from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City, whose builder and maker is God."
10 Questions Every Teen Should Ask (and Answer) About Christianity by Rebecca McLaughlin - "Going to school, hanging out with friends, or scrolling through social media feeds, teenagers are sure to face real challenges to faith in Jesus Christ. And whether you consider yourself a Christ follower or not, these questions can seem like deal breakers. Backed by state-of-the-art research, personal stories, Harry Potter illustrations (warning: spoilers!), and careful biblical study, this book doesn’t dodge tough questions. Instead, it invites teenagers to ask their hardest questions about Christianity and to find surprising, life-giving answers."
Relationships: Ten Lessons to Give Kids a Greater Understanding of Biblical Sexuality by Luke and Trisha Gilkerson - "Relationships was written for parents to read with their kids ages 11-14 years old. This study will help prepare your teen for sexual tmptations that they are sure to encounter and give them a greater understanding of biblical sexuality."
Truthfilled by Ruth Chou Simons - "Join Ruth Chou Simons in this 7-session study of the Book of Colossians as she leads girls through a practice of preaching gospel truth to themselves by studying Paul’s example. In every changing season of life, we can rest in God’s character, rehearse our identity in Christ, respond in faith, and remember God’s provision for us. In today’s culture, there’s no shortage of self-help, easy fixes, and worldly advice, but only the truth of God’s Word was meant to fill us up and satisfy us fully."
Christian Heroes Then and Now - Written specifically to challenge readers with the powerful lives of missionaries who have profoundly shaped history, the books in the Christian Heroes: Then & Now series answer today's call for positive role models and for opportunities to see how God works through the lives of those who follow him. (note: this link is to the first 5 books, but there are 40 in the series sold individually or in sets of five).