Shepherding a Child's Heart : Part One

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

On facebook a couple of weeks ago I asked who had read Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp. And I followed that up with who liked it and who didn't like it so much.  The majority of those who spoke up seemed to absolutely love it, but there were a couple who didn't agree with it so much.

To start off this little mini-series on Shepherding a Child's Heart and Instructing a Child's Heart, I want to share with you just the main points of the books - concepts and such.  Then I'll move into my take on the good, the bad, and just useful stuff to have stored away for if the need arises.

I'd love for any and all of you reading to chime in with thoughts, and takeaways in the comments, as the ways of parenting are so vast and unique.
As a mom to two young boys, I often feel ill-equipped on the day to day discipline and guidance I'm supposed to provide. Sure I can handle putting together crafting projects, learning games, nature walks, and such, but there is more to being a good parent, and that "more" is what I struggle with. With that in mind, I've been pouring over parenting books in order to build a confidence in my own abilities, not necessarily looking for strict how-to's.  So naturally I had the Tripp's books in my list of parenting books, they are very popular and fairly well regarded.

Shepherding a Child's Heart came out in 1995 and it is still being used by many parents.





So here's the skinny on what the book outlines for parents...

Mr Tripp makes the point that all the behavior issues that children show stem from issues of the heart, and this should be obvious, especially to christian parents, as the Bible tells us that everything come as an overflow of the heart. So every time we, as parents, need to correct a behavior we have to dig deep to that heart issue in order to actually solve the problem.

On page 25, Mr Tripp tells us that "there are two issues the feed into the persons your children become: 1) The shaping influences of life, and 2) Their Godward orientation." These points are not really in our control, for the most part. I mean sure we can have some control over their environment, for a time, but not for long. So the idea laid out over and over reminds us as parents that we need to rely on God for direction as we raise our children.

The main reason why I read these books and want to share them with you is that there are some real gems that get over looked (I'll discuss the issue of discipline- the main critique of these books- in another post). The biggest take away from this little discussion I hope you remember is this.

 "Parenting is your primary calling. Parenting will mean that you can't do all things that you would otherwise do." (p 101)  (Tweet this!!)
I couldn't agree more. Once you become a parent that is your first job. It is essential that you realize that other things will have to be pushed to side, shelved for a few years, let go of completely, so that you can be the mom or dad your child(ren) deserve. God wouldn't give you kids unless He knew you would be able to make such a drastic step - besides He promises to help you along the way!


Parenting as a calling


For me, the view on discipline was hard to take. I wasn't raised in a family where we received spankings, so I have a good amount to discuss on this point. Granted I did get some great formulas to use as discipline is a necessary part of parenting. And a main focus in both of these books. I'll go into that in my next post.

But I'd love to hear from you now - what do you think about these main points from Shepherding a Child's Heart? Have you read it? What did you take away as the best point? Please share your thoughts below!









Check out the whole series:


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