Thursday, 23 July 2009

Thought provoking comments on parenting

My wife and I are currently reading "Shepherding a Child's heart" by Tedd Tripp.

We are half way through and have found some of it really helpful and it has really got us thinking. The book has relatively small chapters with questions to consider at the end of each one.

I have found it both challenging and thought provoking. I'm in good faith, confident in his grace and wanting to be obedient in this area, not because I have to, but because I get to. He is amazing and loving and trustworthy in every area of life. I'm free to worship through parenting without feeling condemned or feeling that my justification hangs on it.

  • Tripp on secular material...

"Books and magazines pander to these parents. They promote the latest pop psychology - all tailored to insecure moms and dads. The gurus promise to teach you how to build self esteem in your children. Have you noticed that no books promise to help produce children who esteem others?"

  • Going for conversion?

"A child's profession of faith in Christ does not change the basic issues of child rearing. The parents goals are the same. He will have times of tenderness and times of spiritual coldness. The parent's task does not change when the child makes a decision.

There are many passages that teach the need to shepherd, to train, to instruct, and to discipline your children. None of these passages has getting a child to pray the "sinner's prayer" as its focus."

  • Going for good behaviour?

"Having well behaved children is not a worthy goal. It is a secondary benefit of biblical child rearing, but an unworthy goal in itself."

  • The challenge...

"You must equip your children to function in a culture that has abandoned the knowledge of God."

"We lose them because we fail to think clearly about man's chief end. The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever; therefore, your objective in every context must be to set a biblical worldview before your children.

... they must be taught that they are creatures made in the image of God - made for God. They must learn that they will only "find themselves" as they find him. Your child must grow to see that real living is experienced when he stands before God and says, "Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you." Psalm 73v25 If this is what you want for your children, then you must ensure that the content of everyday life fits this objective."

Questions we are considering:

  • What is wrong with a change in behaviour without a change in the heart?

  • What would your children identify as the values in your family?

  • What do you think is the nature of your authority as a parent?

  • How do you define success? How would your child complete this sentence? "What Mom and Dad want for me is...."

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