Shepherding a Child's Heart: Part 2 - Reading List

Shepherding a Child's Heart: Part 2

Monday, March 04, 2013

It doesn't take too long before that precious baby you brought home grows up enough to get into trouble. I mean let's face it, every human has a desire to know more, and for little kids that curious desire often leads to behavior that just cannot be tolerated.

While kids are still very young it is fairly easy to discipline by simply picking them up and literally moving them away from the temptation.  But soon enough that method just doesn't cut it, for so many reasons. It is in these moments that parents have to find a new way to discipline.

In Shepherding a Child's Heart, Tedd Tripp points out that we "must direct [our] children on God's behalf for their good" and that "children generally do no resist authority that is truly kind and selfless."  These concepts seem wonderful. They are nice things to say, but how do we as parents act on such statements?

Well we look to God for direction - right?

Which brings us to forms of discipline.  And this is a topic that can be debated forever!  So I'm going to simply share what Mr. Tripp lays out in this book next.

Mr Tripp tells us, that as parents we "must require proper behavior" because "God's law demands it." But we need to go further than just behavior, and address, by asking our kids questions, the heart issue, as I discussed in part one.

Just like adults, children have a natural tendency to worship idols - TV, video games, dolls, desire to fit in with friends, etc. As parents, we have to recognize these behaviors and help our children put down and destroy these idols and turn to God. (A heart issue to be found when we see a behavior that is not proper.)

In order to help teach our children to walk away from idols and rely on God, Tripp tells us there are two methods God has given us to use: The rod and communication. And these methods have to be used together. (p 75)

A key point to communication is that we have to allow our children the chance to speak and we must really listen. This goes even deeper for parents, because we have to "draw out [their] thoughts" since they have not learned how to express themselves well. (p 76)

The key steps of communication we as parents need to take our children through in order to reach the heart issue are encouragement, correction (often Biblical in nature), rebuke (although always steer clear of words that would lead your kid to think you hate them or wish something bad on them), entreaty, instruction, warning, teaching and prayer. Granted every form of communication might not be necessary for every behavior issue, but if our goal is to show our kids to God, prayer should always be include with another form of communication. (85-93)

This job to discipline through communication means that we as parents must talk to our kids even when they are not in trouble or needing guidance. We have to be willing to put aside other tasks if our kids want to talk to establish a relationship that is based on open communication- here again lies the need for us as parents to realize that we won't be able to do all the other things we would like to do any more, like discussed in part one.

An important point Tripp makes before he discusses the rod, is that "we don't discipline for childishness even when it is terribly inconvenient." (105) Let that sink in, we'll come back to this point later on.

Tedd Tripp defines the rod as "a parent, in faith toward God and faithfulness toward his or her children undertaking the responsibility of careful, timely, measured and controlled use of physical punishment to underscore the importance of obeying God, thus rescuing the child from continuing in his foolishness until death." (108) He goes on to point out that "the biblical concept of the rod is not the parent exacting retribution for the child's wrong." (111)  And then, "communication and the rod are not stand-alone methods. They are designed to work together." (116)

Alright, so there is the breakdown of how to actually discipline and at the same time disciple our kids from Shepherding a Child's Heart.

What are your thoughts so far? Do you have more questions now than before - I did at this point in the books! Does this concept, communication and the rod, for discipline rub you the wrong way? Is this how your family operates?  Share your thoughts in the comments.

Next we'll go over how these methods are to help show our kids that we all live in some kind of submission to an authority.

Check out the whole series

Shepherding intro
Part 1
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Shepherding wrap up

Linking up with:

You Might Also Like


Like me on Facebook