Our Favorite Parenting & Marriage Resources: Part 2

Resources for parenting are great because you can use them to invest into your relationship with your children. We all need a little help with it comes to inspiration around parenting and its good for us to glean from each other. God gave us a responsibility in the lives of those closest to us and it is our privilege to parent well.

Our desire is to share with you the resources that have impacted us along the way! We hope these books and websites help you grow as a husband and wife and parents after God! If these resources we share do help you, be sure to send this to another couple who could benefit from it!

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– Hey, we’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith with Marriage after God.

– Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.

– And today we’re gonna share with you our favorite marriage and parenting resources.

– Okay, everyone, with this episode, we promised you, this is part 2 of our series, and today’s resources are gonna be all about parenting.

– Yeah, last week we talked about our favorite marriage resources, and so today we’re gonna talk about parenting, and the things that we use in our every day life with our children, and how we incorporate our faith in almost everything we do. So if you have any resources that you think of while listening, please share those in the comments, and it’d be cool because everyone that’s seeing them, they’ll be able to see all of the resources. The ones that we give, and the ones that you give. It’d just be really encouraging, so put those in the comments.

– I also wanna encourage you to have a piece of paper and pen, or maybe use your phone, just to be able to take notes as we go through some of these resources, because we wanna encourage you guys to do a little bit more research on them. Maybe order some if you need to, but we are really excited about sharing some of these resources with you, so maybe just having that available to take notes would be helpful for you.

– So one of the main reasons that we are sharing our favorite resources, it’s one of the reasons why we started Marriage after God podcast, is we’re trying to encourage marriages to recognize that their marriages are ministries. That it’s not just about happily ever after, it’s not just about getting to the next day, or to next Friday, or waiting until retirement, or until the kids are out of the home, but it’s about the every day, and that this is the day, this is the time that God’s given us, and that our marriage is one of the most powerful tools He’s given us to do what He’s asked us to do in this world. And one of the most important things, outside of our relationship with our spouse, is how we raise our children, and we try and, it’s not just turning them into good, moral people. It’s turning them into God loving people, who fear God, and who serve Him, and so a lot of these resources we’re gonna be sharing are focused around God, and centered on Christ, and not all of them, but most of them. And so we just want to encourage you that the more we can incorporate scripture, and the more we can incorporate the Bible, the more we can incorporate prayer and singing worship, and all of that into our life with our kids, the more we’re gonna instill in them that lifestyle, the understanding of who God is, and what He desires for them, so that’s what we’re doing, we’re trying to encourage you in your ministry as a marriage.

– So with that, I’ll start with the first resource, and it’s the most important, and it will set the foundation for everything that we do as parents. It’s where we get our truth, our wisdom, all of that. And it’s the Bible. And so, Aaron and I shared in the last episode of Marriage after God what our Bibles are. We use the ESV, and I just wanted to share that we use the same thing for our kids, except it’s called the Action Bible, and it’s the study, the study guide version.

– Yeah, so it’s the ESV Action Bible, and what the Action Bible is, is it’s a Bible that looks like a comic book. But this is actually the full Bible. But throughout it, there’s snippets from the comic book version of the Bible. And so it’s kind of fun when we’re reading some pages, they can look at David and Goliath, but it’s actually the full Bible, so they get used to seeing the scriptures, and they don’t get afraid of how much words there are, and it just helps them start to learn how to have a Bible, how to navigate through it. We have people ask us all the time, what Bible do you use for your kids? Because we do Bible time every day with the kids. And we used to use children’s versions of Bibles.

– Which we’ll share about those in a little bit.

– Yeah we’ll share about those in a little bit. We use them still, but for the main Bible time, when our kids turn three years old, we go and get them their own Bible.

– And they get so excited about it.

– And they hold it during Bible time. They don’t know how to read yet.

– Well what’s great is they can look at the pictures that are spread throughout the Bible.

– But we use it in fun ways, too, because they start, at that age, they start recognizing numbers, so I can say, hey, can you find the number 100? Can you find the number 49? So they start being able to do that, they start recognizing words. Anyways, this is what we use. We give them their own Bible. We teach them how to respect it, to honor it. We say, go get your Bible. It’s theirs, there’s ownership in it. They learn how to use the ribbon. Our son, he’s like, where are we at? And I open to it. He doesn’t know how to read very good yet, but he’ll open to it, and he’ll sit there, and then he’ll scroll through the pages. But we give our kids full Bibles. The ESV, the English Standard Version.

– And for Elliot we got the black one, the black cover. For Olive, we got the purple one. I don’t know if there’s many more variations than that.

– I’m pretty sure those are the only two colors.

– Well I feel like there was a pink one. Maybe a blue one, I’m not really sure, but they’re the same Bible on the inside, essentially.

– Yes, exactly the same Bible, just different colors, so she’s got the girly version, Elliot’s got the manly version. But they actually love it, and it’s been a really cool thing giving them the Bible, and I’m actually getting really excited for Elliot to learn how to read, because I told him, when you learn how to read, you’re gonna help me read during Bible time.

– There is one little trick before the kids know how to read that gets them really excited. You taught Elliot this, but you would say, okay, go to Proverbs, and you taught him that it’s essentially

– Oh, yeah. the middle of the Bible.

– Yeah, teaching him how to navigate.

– And so he would try and get as close to the middle as possible, and when he landed on Proverbs…

– Most of the time he got it right.

– He would be so excited, he would come to me, Mom, look, ask me to go to Proverbs. It’s just really cute.

– Yeah, it’s a fun learning experience. And we believe in starting them as young as you can. Why not?

– So when sharing about the Bibles that we use, I also just wanna let those who are listening know that we did share an episode on family Bible time, and that’s just a really important part of our day, and we’ve made it a routine. It’s how we sit with the kids, and go through the Bible with them, so I just want to encourage them listening to go find that episode and listen to it.

– Yeah. So the next resource is something that we used to use as a Bible, it’s called the Rhyme Bible, and the Jesus Storybook Bible, and these are very kid friendly. We try and tell our kids, these are not the Bible.

– They’re stories from the Bible.

– They’re stories from the Bible, because I don’t want our kids to get confused, that these are used as supplements. We like to, we’ll read these to the kids, we’ll show them, and again, it’s just surrounding them by things that are based around Christ.

– Yeah, so I use these during when I’m doing school time with them, or we’re talking about a certain story from the bible. I really like this one by Sally Lloyd Jones, and the illustrations are just really beautiful.

– David and Goliath.

– Yeah, it’s more told like a story, so it’s just really fun for the kids. And then the rhyme Bible, I love anything rhyme. I love Dr. Seuss and all that. And so the Rhyme Bible is really fun for those younger ages, and it’s just again the stories of Mary and Joseph, and baby Jesus, and David and Goliath, but it’s told in rhyme form, and so again, it’s not like, it’s based on scripture, but it’s not scriptural, so I don’t know how to explain that.

– Well we just tell them that this isn’t the Bible. It’s based on the Bible, so a way we use these, let’s say we were reading in Joshua today, and we were reading about the walls of Jericho. What we might do, so we read from the actual Bible. The actual story word for word. We could find in there the story version, or the rhyme version of the same story, and then it supplements, and it build on what we did from the Bible, and it gives them these ways of remembering, and illustrations, and pictures, and rhymes to help them solidify in their hearts and in their minds those stories from the Bible.

– Yeah, and another good resource for sharing Bible stories with your kids are the Little Golden Books. I love these.

– They have a bunch of Bible versions.

– Yeah, there’s a bunch of Bible versions, so there’s Noah’s Ark, The Lord is my Shepherd, Daniel and the Lion’s Den, there’s David and Goliath, Bible stories for Boys and Girls, and this is just another fun way to leave the books out in your kid’s room, or in the playroom, and let them have access to them. Maybe those younger ones who aren’t, if they’re sitting for Bible time, but they don’t have their own Bible yet, this is a great resource for them to be looking through…

– It gets them in the…

– The pictures.

– Yeah, gets them used to holding a book while we’re doing Bible time, but they can look through it, and it’s till Bible focused.

– Bedtime stories.

– Bedtime stories, yeah. So again, we teach the kids that these aren’t the Bible, but that they have Bible stories in them, and we use them to supplement reading the Bible with them. So what’s another resource that we love when it comes to our parenting?

– So another resource that I really love is by Rod and Staff, they have a lot of resources for teaching your kids.

– Is Rod and Staff a homeschool curriculum?

– Yeah, it’s kind of like a homeschool curriculum thing, but they have something that I really love, it’s a Bible stories that the parent has the guide, and you read the story to the kid. It walks you through what scripture it’s from, and you go find the Bible, you read through the Bible, and as they’re doing that, there’s a coloring sheet that goes with it, and so that’s just a really, another fun way to supplement what they’re learning.

– Solidifying what they’re learning. So there’s the story about David and Goliath, and then they color a picture about David and Goliath.

– So that’s Rod and Staff.

– Elliot really loves that. I’ve done it a couple times with him. The next one, and you’ll talk about this more, but it’s called Large Family Logistics, and this is more for families that are growing, but it even works for sometimes one child.

– I would say it’s good for any size family, especially if you are someone like me where you got married and you kind of felt at a loss. Maybe you didn’t know really how to manage a home, how to make the most of your time with your kids, and for your family. It even goes into different routines, and things that will really help facilitate your family life, and so if you’re interested, Large Family Logistics was a great resource, particularly for the wife. Obviously the husband can read it, you guys could read it together, go through some of the practical things that she mentions in the book.

– Is it a reference book? Do you go back to it?

– Yes. Oh, I wanna go back to meal planning, or, okay.

– Yeah, and she just has a lot of really great ideas. I know it’s available on Amazon, and we’ll link to it. And sometimes it can get really pricey, depending on which version that you find it.

– Is it worth it?

– But I would say it’s definitely worth it.

– That’s good. Yeah so, everything we’re promoting, of course, is gonna cost money, unless you know someone that has it.

– That’s true, ask around.

– Some of them are much cheaper than others, but the point is, is that there’s all of these things available, if you need help in certain areas, or if there’s things you want to supplement other things with. So what’s the next thing we? Are we gonna go into some of the audio video stuff?

– Yeah, so these are just resources to help, not so much with your parenting, but with your kids. As far as just…

– They’re educational, again, and they’re also Biblical supplements.

– They’re fun.

– Yeah, they’re fun.

– They’re just really fun resources, so, yes, the Jonathan Parks series is really, really good, we really like that, especially if you’re just driving.

– Are these audio or DVD?

– This is audio.

– Audio. And so we’ll put in the car while we’re driving these Jonathan park audio CDs, or this one is one of my favorites.

– G.A. Henty. They do The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty. It’s really good.

– These are dramatized audio stories based off of novels, and they’re based off of historic figures who were Christian, so they’re these historic stories told in a dramatic way, with sounds, and music, and different characters, but then there’s always these Biblical themes, and undertones that are coming out of these stories.

– Sometimes I’ll put these audio books on while the kids are playing in their school room, and they really like that.

– I just want to talk about that one real quick. We did a road trip a couple years ago, and Elliot just wanted to listen to the stories over and over and over again, and then he started repeating them, and talking about the different characters. It was pretty awesome.

– Yeah, so another one that’s just audio is Heroes of History, and we listened to the Abraham Lincoln one, and it was really good.

– Oh, these were really good, you showed me these…

– They have different ones, like Jim Elliot, he was a missionary.

– And they’re really, really informative.

– And there’s several CDs in each one.

– Yeah, and you play it, and they’re just historic stories of these different historic characters. Again, there’s a Christian undertone to all of them.

– The last one is…

– Elliot loves this one.

– Visuals, so these are DVDs that you can watch on TV or computer, and it’s the Nest learning system, and you could just look up Nest Entertainment, go to the link in the description that we’re sharing with you, but their animated Bible stories are really good, like David and Goliath, but they also do history, so the Wright Brothers is one of my favorite, favorite. This is Olive’s favorite.

– We play that like once or twice a week.

– Yeah.

– So we usually watch all of these and listen to these, the audio we listen to in the bedroom, but the DVDs we usually watch in the car if we’re gonna do a long trip. But they love them, and what’s great about them is, they’re educational, and again, they reinforce Biblical ideas, and Biblical stories.

– Yeah, I would say that you should review them before you just let your kids loose with them, just because there could be some age appropriate-ness there that you may not feel comfortable with, so just make sure that you’re reviewing things before just letting them listen.

– Yeah, these, the movies specifically are definitely not just age neutral. I would say, review

– Just be cautious.

– Be cautious. Discern on your own.

– So another one that Elliot really loves is Answers in Genesis, by Ken Ham, so there’s this specific one that he loves. It’s something that he watches, and it’s about dinosaurs. And so that’s just really something that you guys should look into. And then a part of that, if you ever went on a family vacation, and you’re near Kentucky, they have the Creation Museum, they have Noah’s Ark Encounter, so Ken Ham is a great resource, and Answers in Genesis, specifically, is a really great resource.

– Yeah, he, Ken Ham is a creation scientist, and he always compares secular science, and secular history with Biblical History, but he doesn’t just use only the Bible, he uses archeology, and he uses science, and uses all the things that we have actual evidence of, to prove that the Bible stories are true. And it’s really interesting, really fascinating. I love listening to him as an adult. And I couldn’t believe I’ve never heard of him before I became a dad.

– And before you showed me him. We have friends that introduced us to Ken Ham, but apparently he’s been around for years. SO, all of Ken Ham’s stuff is awesome. But the Answers in Genesis series is amazing.

– So I just want to mention that you just said that friends of ours are the ones that showed us this Answers in Genesis, and I just want to point out, you guys, that one of the biggest resources that will benefit your parenting are friends and family. People who are walking faithfully, who have Christian views and believe the Bible, and walk in that way.

– Fellowship other believers.

– And yeah, and are contributing to your parenting in that fellowship and that relationship that you have with them. People that we have in our life have ministered to us in great ways, impactful ways.

– Continually, actually.

– Yeah, every day. People who are wiling to speak into our lives, or see into our relationship with our kids, and say, hey, you mihgt want to correct that, or you might want to address that, or, hey, you’re doing a really great job. Which we all need to hear. And so we just want to be encouraging you to make sure that you are walking in community, Christian community, Christian fellowship, with people who have fruit in their life. People who you see how they parent, and you admire, and you want that, you can draw that wisdom from them.

– Yeah, and If you don’t have close Christian relationships like that, and you want them, start praying for them today, but also ask God to change and point out in your heart where you might be avoiding those relationships, because those are hard to have. And they’re sticky sometimes, but we need them. God actually commands us as believers to walk in close fellowship with other believers. So start pursuing that as a couple. It’s gonna be the most important resource in your life, is walking with other believers.

– And if you have those relationships, don’t be afraid to ask questions, because I found that sometimes you just don’t realize what people do or don’t know until you ask them a question, and so, having those conversations, and just being willing to say, hey, I’m going thorough this and I really need help, or hey, do you have a resource for, my kid really likes to listen to audio books. Do you have anything? And just be sharing all of that information.

– So the next one we are gonna talk about, the next resource, is a fun one. And again, this is just another thing that we use during the day to reinforce scripture memorization, and just reinforcing the Bible, and it’s called Singing the Word from A to Z. And it’s just a CD, and it’s 26 songs that are all just scripture, and they’re fun. Man, Olive, when we play that,

– She loves it.

– She doesn’t even know all the songs.

– She sings along.

– She’s in the back going

– So they love hearing the songs, and what happens is…

– Repetition, right?

– Repetition. It’s how people forever have learned to memorize things, is through song, and repetition, and rhyme, and so they’ve taken verses from the Bible, and they’ve put them into song form. And we play it in the car, and they’re very kid-friendly.

– I think they’re children singing it.

– Yeah, sometimes it’s children singing the song. But we have learned to love those kinds of things, because our kids in the back, they love it. And they’re just trying to sing along to the songs, and what they’re trying to do is, they’re actually trying to memorize scripture, which they don’t even realize they’re doing, but it’s an incredible thing, so we love that. What’s the other CD that we play?

– Yeah, the We Sing Songs is really good for, they talk about Bible stories, old preschool version songs that we grew up on.

– Jesus Loves Little Children.

– This Little Light of mine. Yeah. And so that’s really great one to put on while they’re playing, or if you want to have some music and movement time, some dance with your kids, that’s a really great one, and I just want to encourage you guys to be mindful of what you’re listening to in your home, just because everything that we listen to is going into our hearts and our minds.

– Influencing…

– We’re consuming it. And if we’re consuming it, and our kids are around, our kids are consuming it, and that stuff is gonna impact us, so I just wanted to make a bold statement there, and being mindful of what kind of music you are listening to, and don’t skip over these cute, preschool, fun dance songs, because…

– Our kids love them.

– Our kids love them, I’m sure your kids will love them.

– So this next resource is kind of for the parent and the kid at the same time. It’s called the Bible App for Kids, and it’s kind of like a game, but it goes through the Bible, and it’s all animated, it’s beautiful, you can touch the little characters on the screen, and they do different things. But essentially it goes through the whole Bible. All of the main Bible stories in the Bible. It’s not word for word, of course, but this is the kind of thing, whenever we’re out, and Elliot needs something to entertain him for a minute, we’ll give him this, and he can play the Bible app, and he gets to navigate through the stories of the Bible in animated form.

– And even our younger kids really like it, even though they don’t know how to navigate the touch screen as well, because they’ll just click, and eventually something will moo, or squeak.

– And there’ll be little things, like if they can read, they can tap a little thing, and it’ll say, “Who was Moses?” and it’ll have a little multiple choice, and they get to pick, and they can get it wrong or right. So, it’s just a fun thing. So again, it gives you a little bit of break, and it gives them something fun to do, but it’s still Biblically focused, so we’ve used that quite a few times. That’s a fun app for our kids.

– So I just want to share a couple websites for parents. This is gonna really encourage you in walking out your parenting, because we all need that encouragement, we all need to be reminded of…

– Exhorted.

– Yeah, exhorted.

– Encouraged.

– Being reminded of what our mission is, what our focus should be, and so I just want to give a couple websites that’s been really encouraging to us in our parenting. Club31women.com, again, has articles very specific to relational things, so the way that a mom and daughter communicate, or how a mom and her sons should interact. And then also has a lot of marriage stuff, so making sure that that relationship’s just going really strong, and so Club 31 Women is a really great website. Another one is courageuosmom.com. She shares a lot about leaving a legacy, and how impactful your parenting is for your children, and just raising them up to be really strong, courageous children, and she is, they have a lot of kids, and her and her husband, he does Resolute Man, if you guys wanna look him up, but they’re just really encouraging people in real life, we know them personally, and they have fruit in their life, and just throughout,

– We love their kids. Throughout their sites, they’re just really encouraging to the parent, but they’re also very firm in how you should be navigating parenting, and so, very straightforward Biblically. Kind of lays it out.

– Biblically focused. Ministry focus, and the way we look at marriage as ministry, she looks at parenting as ministry, which is true.

– And they go live a lot on social media, so if you want to follow them there, you can do. It’s @courageousmom, and she also has a postpartum course, so if you’re in that fresh stage of either pregnancy, or going into postpartum, or you’re in postpartum, please look that up, because it’s really, really, just a great course in a practical sense, but also preparing you spiritually, mentally, emotionally, for that season. The next two sites I want to share are also great for parenting. It’s familylifetoday.com, and thebettermom.com. So those are just really great resources. Thebettermom.com is really great because it’s a contributor site, so there’s a lot of authors contributing, and sharing perspectives, and different points of view on different topics about parenting. The Better Mom also has books available for you, and another book that I wanted to mention is The Life Giving Parent, by Sally and Clay Clarkson. They just have a wonderful way of writing things, to help you understand your value in your children’s life, and so The Life Giving Parent is an awesome book.

– So one of the last resources we want to share is called The Bible Project. You can get there at thebibleproject.com. And they create amazingly beautiful illustrated and designed videos to talk about everything that has to do with the Bible. They have a video for every book of the Bible, just doing an explanatory overview of each book, and who they were written to, and why, and what the purpose was, and they pull out some amazing things, that when you’re watching, you’re like, oh my gosh, I’ve never connected those things before. They do videos on topics from the Bible, they do videos on themes in the Bible, on words from the Bible, and our son loves watching the videos, because they’re animated, and hand drawn, and illustrated, and they’re 3D, and they have

– They’re very unique

– all these different styles, very unique. But their perspective on the Bible, and the way they present it is just so amazing. It’s been amazing for us, but more so our kids just love watching the videos. So I just wanted to point, it’s called thebibleproject.com, and they even have a huge book that they printed, that has these illustrations from every book in the Bible, it’s a beautiful book. It’s over sitting over there. And we got that, and our kids love going through it. It’s kind of a coffee table book, so they don’t get to play with it that often, but go check that out. That’s been a really fun thing that we periodically go watch, again to supplement if we’re reading in Joshua, we go to The Bible Project also, and we watch the video on Joshua. So they can watch this animated overview of what Joshua is about. It’s been a cool resource for us.

– Okay, well there’s one last resource that we really wanted to share, and we’re really excited to share with you guys, because there are resources, and we couldn’t do this whole episode without sharing them with you, just because, for one thing, the covers are really beautiful. They were done by a local artist, a friend of ours, Sierra, and they’re just really beautiful, but it’s 31 Prayers for my Daughter, and 31 Prayers for my Son. The 31 Prayers for my Daughter has this beautiful, little red lily on it, and the 31 Prayers for my Son has an olive tree. And if you read the introductions, it shares a little bit more of the significance. Yeah, significance of that. But they’re really great resources for parents who want to be praying for their kids, and maybe they don’t know where to start, or maybe they don’t know how, or maybe they just got in a little prayer rut, and they just need a little bit inspiration, so it’s not supposed to really take over your prayer life, but it’s a great supplement for parents, and it’s 31 days of prayer, so each day is a different topic for your child, and again, just like the 31 Prayers for my Wife, and for my Husband, there’s journal pages between each prayer to make it more personal. You can write out a list, or you can journal to your kids. I had some people telling me that,

– They’re buying them for each kid, yeah.

– They’re buying them for each kid, and then giving them to them when they’re older.

– So, we just hope you enjoyed all of these resources today, we thank you for joining us. Again, if you have resources that we didn’t mention…

– Which I know there’s probably a lot,

– Because we’re just,

– Oh, so many.

– We’re just starting out on this parenting journey, you guys, I feel like we’re at the beginning of it, so we just had what we had to share with you today, but we know that there’s more.

– So share those in the comments, and thank you for joining us, and we look forward to having you next week.

– [Aaron] Did you enjoy today’s show? Find many more encouraging stories and resources at marriageaftergod.com, and let us help you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.

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