Monday, May 12, 2008

Shepherding a Child's Heart: Chp 1

Thanks for joining us while we're reading "Shepherding a Child's Heart" by Tedd Tripp.  Each Monday and Friday, I will present a short synopsis of the chapter we're reading, followed by 2-3 of the questions from the chapter for discussion. Feel free to read along with us and discuss the reading.  I'm excited to talk with all of you as we grow closer to God in our journey toward becoming better mommies.

The past few days we've been reading Chapter One: Getting to the Heart of Behavior.  This chapter set up the premise of the book: shepherding your child's heart is basis of discipline and changed behavior.  The author goes on to explain that behavior is a reflection of where our hearts are.  He quotes Luke 6:45 as saying:

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.  For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

Therefore, simply changing behavior should not be our goal.  Behavior does not simply appear with no apparent cause.  It springs from the orientation of the heart.  Rather, redirecting our children toward examining the heart is the ultimate goal in parenting and discipline.  

Tripp puts it this way: 

"(this understanding) focuses correction on deeper things than changed behavior.  The point of confrontation is what is occurring in the heart.  Your concern is to unmask your child's sin, helping him to understand how it reflects a heart that has strayed.  That leads to the cross of Christ.  It underscores the need for a Savior." pg 6

Personally, this chapter showed me how the issue is deeper than correction.  It is shepherding our child and redirecting their hearts to Christ in ever encounter.  It's easy for me to point my child to God when we're reading Bible stories or talking to him about how God gave him to us. It's harder in the heat of the moment when he's thrown a shoe at me or thrown a tantrum in the middle of grocery shopping.  Still those are moments for him Christ as well as allowing God to work in me.

It seems to me that this can only work with a deep commitment, an unmeasurable amount of patience from God, and a true desire to raise our children, not simply correct them.  So it begs the question: Why did we become parents?  So that we could parent smaller versions of ourselves?  Or to develop free-thinking disciples who are passionate about following God?  One path is easier.  One path is more rewarding.   

Questions from the end of the chapter: 

3. Why is it so easy to get sidetracked with behavior when issues of the heart are clearly so much more important?

4. What is wrong with a change in behavior without a change of heart?

5. If the point of discipline is to direct the heart, how does that change the approach to discipline and correction?

I'm linking this post to Rocks in My Dryer for Works for Me Wednesday as well.  Because honestly, having the time to meet my book club buddies on my own time, works for me.


Laane said...

I remember a discussion at school in which I said that changing behaviour without a change of conscience and reflection in why a free choice is made a certain way doesn't help a bit.

The teacher said she didn't care as long as the behaviour was OK. Ugh!!!

Want to see what works for me?
See here:

Laane on the World

Enjoy your day.

Lee said...

Yeah. Funny thing is ... we actually have to teach them to think for themselves. So I'd rather teach my child to listen to the Holy Spirit than think that I can always be there to dictate his Christian walk.

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