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What is your main goal for your child? Do you want him/her to be successful in his/her prospective career, a productive member of society, a responsible citizen? What is the goal you aim for as you get out of bed each and every day? Do you have a long-term goal in mind as you go through the day-to-day tasks in parenting?
Shepherding a Child’s Heart is a book that invites parents to align their parenting with God’s word. As Christian parents, our goal should be for our children:
“To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
Tedd Tripp, the author of this book, argues that nothing is more important than this goal. And I wholeheartedly agree! He challenges parents to remove any obstacles that detract from instilling this goal in our child. Instead of focusing on the superficial issues of behavior, we need to be focusing on the issues of the heart where the behavior stems from:
“Behavior is a manifestation of what is going on inside. What a person says or does mirrors the heart. “For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45)…Behaviors has a “when,” a “what,” and a “why.” The “when” describes the circumstances in which the behavior occurred. The “what” describes the things that were said or done. The “why” describes the internal heart issues that pushed or pulled the specific behavior. You must explore with your children not just the “when” or the “what” of their behavior, but the “why.” You must help them to look at the “what” of their behavior from the “why” perspective. Your task is to help them understand the “overflow of the heart” aspect of their behavior” (page 172).
This book is radical. It is no-nonsense. This book calls out many of the popular parenting techniques that our culture currently encourages. It is refreshing to see someone so passionate about the word of God and implementing it in the context of raising our children to have a heart for the Lord.
I love this quote on positive communication (page 90):
“You will never have the hearts of your children if you talk with them only when something has gone wrong.”
And this series of quotes on regarding parenting as our calling, our ministry (page 97):
“This is your calling…There is nothing more important. You have only a brief season of life to invest yourself in this task. You have only one opportunity to do it. You cannot go back and do it over…Parenting is your primary calling.”
Wow…it really puts things into perspective when he puts it like that.
However, there were a few points in this book that rubbed me the wrong way. I had to pause, sometimes thinking, “Wait a second, this isn’t how I understood these scriptures.” What this book invited me to do was to thoroughly explore why I believe what I believe. Through my own research of scripture and talking with others much more knowledgeable than myself, my original beliefs on these issues have been solidified. Although I don’t agree with everything, I still think this book is worth reading and strongly suggest it to any Christian parent for the reasons mentioned above.
It’s important that we don’t disregard a book or its content altogether simply because we disagree with something in the book. Reading this book has changed my worldview of parenting into a Godly-view as well as encouraged me to explore and solidify my own thoughts on the principles shared in this book.
Above all else, I want my children’s hearts to love their Creator. And it is our responsibility, as their parents, to lead their hearts towards Christ.
How would you like to win one of two copies of Shepherding a Child’s Heart being given away? Just leave a comment! The approximate retail value is $13.95 per book. This giveaway will end on Friday, October 21st at 10am (CST). A winner will be randomly selected shortly after and notified by e-mail. By entering, you are agreeing to these official rules.
This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only (apologies to my international readers).