Monday, July 7, 2008

Shepherding a Child's Heart: Chp 18

Every Monday and Friday, join us for 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 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 18: Teenagers: Training Objectives

Tripp uses this chapter to address the final stages of parenting: the teenage years.  Here are a few highlights:
  • Teenagers are riddled with anxiety: appearance, ideas, the future, etc
  • Prov 1:7-19 lays out the three parenting goals for this stage: fear of the Lord (v 7), adherence to parental instruction (v 8-9) and disassociation from the wicked (v 10-19) (pg 188)
  • "Living in fear of God means living in the realization of accountability to Him.  It is living in light of the fact that He is God and we are creatures" (pg 188).
  • "Like any area of theological truth, the key to growth is not the cognitive identification of truth.  It is understanding the pertinence of that truth in daily life.  You and your children must understand the fear of the Lord in a manner that reorganizes your lives" (pg 189).
  • "Your relationship with your children must be honest" (pg 192).
  • "Your children see the power of a life of faith as they see you living it" and "you show the power and viability of Christian faith" (pg 193).
I am particularly convicted by those final two quotes.  This is something that I struggle with as my child is only a toddler, but something that I believe is so important through all stages of parenting.  Not only "telling" our children about the power and relevance of Christ in our lives, but also "showing" them how we live it out.  If we are continually  preaching to them, how often are we inviting them into our own relationships with God?  How often are we praying with them, discussing appropriate prayer requests, or sharing praise for what God has done in our lives?  And how do we make the relevant throughout all stages of maturity?

Questions for discussion:
1. What are the negotiable issues that would enable your teen to express his independence from you in constructive ways?

8. Are you providing a home in which your teenager feels loved and accepted?  Are his friends welcome in your home, whether they are believers or not?

9. What can you do to provide a special sense of belonging for your children?

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