Few teachers have impacted this generation of parents like Paul Tripp. His constant reminders of the gospel in the parenting context have helped me as a mother in ways I can’t quite articulate. I remember the first few months with our oldest, Dela, at home. I felt inadequate in every way. I was so thankful to have been given one of Dr. Tripp’s books. It proved to be water to my parched soul.

So, in an effort to pass along some of the encouragement and wisdom I’ve enjoyed from Paul Tripp, here’s a list of quotes I’ve found particularly compelling. While the quotes come from a variety of sources, I encourage you to pick up a copy of his book Parenting—whether you’re a new parent or you’ve been one for decades.

“No parent gives mercy better than one who is convinced that he desperately needs it himself.”

This is the heart of Christian forgiveness, love, and grace. The better we understand how radically God has saved us, the more patient we become toward our children.

“It is only rest in God’s presence and grace that will make you a joyful and patient parent.”

How often do we parent from a place of anxiety, unrest, or stress? We rush to get out the door, we fight for quiet moments to prepare food, and… you name it. Granted, every moment can’t be a picture of tranquility—especially if you have young kids!—but it can be laced with the deep, unwavering rest that comes from peace with God in Christ.

“The goal of parenting is not control of behavior, but rather heart and life change.”

Ryan always reminds me: behavior is an outcome of belief. This perspective shifts every thought and action (if I’m on my game) as a parent. I’m not perfect, but the moments when I realize the long game—discipling our kids toward a deeper relationship with their King—then the behaviors become symptoms to be treated while the heart is still being cured.

“You are parenting a worshiper, so it’s important to remember that what rules your child’s heart will control his behavior.”

See the quote just before this one!

“Not all of the wrong your children do is a direct rebellion to authority; much of the wrong is the result of a lack of character.”

Not every eye-roll or huffy-puffy stomped foot is an affront to me as their mom. Instead, it’s an indicator of where their heart is and a reminder that I’m called to love them graciously, patiently, and with understanding.

“The foolishness inside your children is more dangerous to them than the temptation outside of them. Only God’s grace has the power to rescue fools.”

This quote is straight fire.

“One of the foundational heart issues in the life of every child is authority. Teaching and modeling the protective beauty of authority is one of the foundations of good parenting.”

I love how Dr. Tripp words this: “modeling the protective beauty of authority”. When I started to grasp God’s sovereignty (authority), it was scary… but it was also very, very comforting because I finally resigned myself to the truth that God is God and I am not. In a similar way, you are the parent and your child is not, and they can take comfort in that when your authority is wielded with love and patience.

“As a parent you’re not dealing just with bad behavior, but a condition that causes bad behavior.”

It always goes back to the HEART!

“You must be committed as a parent to long-view parenting because change is a process and not an event.”

I love this reminder. Remembering that parenting is about the long game is so relieving. I can breathe and stay the course, trusting that God is faithful.

“If you are not resting as a parent in your identity in Christ, you will look for identity in your children.”

*Raises hand* Guilty! Thank God for his grace in reminding us that he alone defines me. A sinner saved by grace, a daughter of the King, and a child of God made in his image.

“Recognizing what you are unable to do is essential to good parenting.”

As a mom I often feel guilty because I don’t know enough: how to teach them “girly” things, how to cook amazing Joanna Gaines meals, or how to be patient when I’m frustrated. Thankfully, as Dr. Tripp reminds us, I can recognize my imperfections and shortcomings while pointing my kids to the One who has neither.

“Your children need God’s law, but you cannot ask the law to do what only grace can accomplish.”

Rules and obedience will not produce a sanctified heart. Only the Holy Spirit can do that.

“God never calls you to a task without giving you what you need to do it. He never sends you without going with you.”

Thank God!

“Nothing is more important in your life than being one of God’s tools to form a human soul.”

Amen! Motherhood (and fatherhood) are eternal work, and what’s more important than eternal work?

“So your hope as a parent is not found in your power, your wisdom, your character, your experience, or your success, but in this one thing alone: the presence of your Lord. The Creator, Savior, Almighty, Sovereign King is with you. Let your heart rest. You are not in this parenting drama alone. Your potential is greater than the size of your weaknesses, because the One who is without weakness is with you, and he does his best work through those who admit that they are weak but in weakness still heed his call.”

I wanted to end with this one. Remember that your Lord—your creator, savior, almighty, sovereign King is with you! Rest and trust. God loves you and he loves your children even more than you do.