Friday, July 11, 2008

Shepherding a Child's Heart: Chp 19

Every Monday and Friday, join us in reading "Shepherding a Child's Heart" by Tedd Tripp.  I'll post a brief synopsis of the chapter with a few highlights, as well as a few personal thoughts.  There will also be 2-3 question for discussion.  So join us in our journey toward becoming the mommies that God has called us to be.  

Chapter 19: Teenagers: Training Procedures

In Tripp's final chapter, he lays forth the more practical issues of raising and releasing teenagers.  As they are approaching adulthood, there are so many issues flying not only at them, but also at us as their parents.  While our job is not yet complete, we must also be learning how to let them make their own decisions and internalize their relationship with God.  So how do we move into less of a parent role and into an even greater shepherding role?
  • "Internalization is your children coming to maturity as persons who know and worship God" (pg 199).
  • "Your role as an influence is one of helping him to know his needs and be honest with himself" (pg 202).
  • "As a parent seeking to shepherd, you want to influence your child to respond to things that are reasonable, drawn from insight into human character based on Scripture" (pg 203).
  • "You should maintain a positive relationship with teens.  Your interaction should have the objective of ministry.  Be a constructive force in the life of your child."  You want to be a source of encouragement and inspiration" (pg 205-06).

Lastly Tripp reminds us that "you want to see them taking their place as autonomous individuals under the Lord"  (pg 209).  He includes the following points:
  • Developing a Christian mind: being able to "dissect" situations from a WWJD perspective
  • Developing friendships with adults: across ages
  • Discovering and developing their peculiar ministry niche.
  • Determining a career in which they can fulfill the cultural mandate and God's command that they support themselves and share with other in need.
  • Establishment of their own home and family identity as a member of the society and a part of the church of Christ.
  • Development of a mature relationship with parents.
I'll leave you with just two more quotes that made me go "hum":
  • In reference to our children: "It should be clear by now that I am not talking about 'getting them saved' in terms of an evangelistic event.  I rather envision leading them along the path of a deepening understanding of and commitment to God  Repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will be a part of that life of deepening understanding of and commitment to God" (pg 199).
  • "In the final analysis, you must entrust your children to God" (pg 211).
And isn't that the hardest part of being a parent?  You can control what your kids eat, when they go to bed, who you allow into your home, where they go to school, so many aspects of their lives.  But in the end, it all comes down to trust God with your kids.  Trusting that even when His ways seems to make no sense at all, it's still His way.  I struggle with this as an adult, let alone knowing how to entrust my children to God's perfect plan.

Questions for discussion:
2. Are you using gentle reproofs and pleasant speech to influence your teens with insights drawn from the Scripture?

3. Have you learned to shepherd your teenager through periods of doubt and confusion about faith?  Are you willing to help them explore their questions and confusion?

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