Monday, June 23, 2008

Shepherding a Child's Heart: Chp 14

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

Chapter 14: Infancy to Childhood: Training Objectives

Tripp uses this chapter to discuss the numerous changes your child goes through from birth through age 5.  Socially, intellectually, etc, the only constant of this age is that there is no constant.  Beyond all the changes that occur at this age, Tripp focuses on a few simple objectives, not the least of which is training your child to understand that they are under authority, under GOD'S  authority.  

Tripp find that this is accomplished through submission to parental figures and that submission is defined by two things: honoring and obeying.    He defines them as such: honoring is defined as treating parents "with respect and esteem because of  their position of authority" (pg 136) and obedience is defined as "willing submission of one person to the authority of another" (pg 138).  He further finds that obedience is "without challenge, without excuse, and without delay" (pg 138).  

Tripp also outlines a "process of appeal" (pg 140).  He finds that this appeal process saves you from two things: it keeps the parent from making hasty decisions and allows the child to have some control over non-essential directives.  The appeals process can only be inacted after the child understands that obedience is required immediately.  

I found this chapter very helpful in understanding the appeal process and the teaching of immediate obedience.  We've been dealing with working to find a compromise when our son has reasonable requests.  How do you hear them out and yet remain consistent?  Funny enough, my husband and I had that conversation the night before I read this chapter.  It gave us a basis for making better decisions and being more apt to admit when our requests are somewhat unreasonable.  

It also made me think about why I make decisions.  Sometimes as parents we find ourselves making decisions "because I'm the mommy."  But Tripps conclusion is that we are merely agents of God and our decisions should been made in an effort to continually be discipling our child.  How often do we believe that's what we're doing when we're actually pulling a parent powertrip?

Questions for discussion:
2. What promises does God make to those who honor and obey parents?

5. Why is giving room for appeal so important in the parenting process?

10. What areas do you need to clarify to establish authority in your home?

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