Ch. 14 – Infancy to Childhood: Training Objectives – Shepherding A Child’s Heart (A Synopsis)

Shepherding A Child's HeartIn this installment of our synopsis of Tedd Tripp’s book “Shepherding A Child’s Heart,” we will look at Chapter 14 – Infancy to Childhood: Training Objectives.”

Tripp defines infancy to childhood as that period from birth through age four or five.  During this period, the child is going through astounding changes including:

  • Physical change
  • Social change
  • Intellectual change
  • Spiritual change

At this stage, there needs to be one principle objective to training.  That objective is to instill the following: “HE IS AN INDIVIDUAL UNDER AUTHORITY.  He has been made by God and has a responsibility to obey God in all things.”  Submitting to parents is the result of being under God’s authority.  In other words, submitting to authority is what God has called children to do.  This training must start when they are infants – Tripp suggests the second you bring them home from the hospital.

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Ch. 13 – Shepherding the Heart Summarized – Shepherding A Child’s Heart (A Synopsis)

Shepherding A Child's HeartIn this installment of our synopsis of Tedd Tripp’s book “Shepherding A Child’s Heart,” we will look at Chapter 13 – Shepherding the Heart Summarized.”  This chapter is a short summary of the first 12 chapters, and it makes sense in our synopsis to do the same thing.

The foundations of raising kids covered so far are as follows:

  1. Our kids are the product of two things – their shaping influences and their Godward orientation.
  2. Behavior comes from the heart.
  3. Parents have authority because they act as agents of God.
  4. “Since the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, you must set such a worldview before your children.”
  5. Biblical methods are as important as biblical goals.
  6. God has two methods for raising kids – communication and the rod.
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Ch. 12 – Embracing Biblical Methods: Appeal to Conscience – Shepherding A Child’s Heart (A Synopsis)

Shepherding A Child's HeartIn this installment of our synopsis of Tedd Tripp’s book “Shepherding A Child’s Heart,” we will look at Chapter 12 – Embracing Biblical Methods: Appeal to Conscience.”

The issues of communication and the rod dealt with in the last several chapters imply two additional issues which are addressed in this chapter – appeal to the conscience and focusing on the redemptive work of God.

Appeal to the Conscience

As parents, in order for correction and discipline to be effective, they must be directed at our kids’ conscience.  Kids will either excuse themselves or accuse themselves because of their conscience.  As Tripp explains, “This God-given conscience is your ally in discipline and correction.  Your most powerful appeals will be those that smite the conscience.”  Tripp points to Proverbs 23 and  numerous examples of verses in that chapter (17, 19, 22, 23, and 26) which model appeal to the conscience.  Tripp explains, “the rod gets the attention, but the conscience must be plowed up and planted with the truth of God’s way.”

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Ch. 11 – Embracing Biblical Methods: The Rod – Shepherding A Child’s Heart (A Synopsis)

Shepherding A Child's HeartIn this installment of our synopsis of Tedd Tripp’s book “Shepherding A Child’s Heart,” we will look at Chapter 11 – “Embracing Biblical Methods: The Rod.”

Before Tripp ever gets into the meat of this chapter, he shares an observation that I found very profound, “All earthly punishment presupposes the great day when destinies are eternally fixed.”  I had never really thought about parenting in that light before.

Tripp begins the discussion of “The Rod” with a look at the current societal view of it.  Of course, he touches on the fact that the rod, as discipline, is no longer a fashionable idea, and many people in today’s society view this biblical form of punishment as child abuse.  Tripp observes, “I fear the majority reaction against spanking is a matter of fashion or style.  The world of ideas is continually in flux.  Ideas have their periods of popularity and unpopularity.”

Tripp looks first at the “Rationale Behind the Rod.”  As he explains, if children were born morally neutral, there would be no need for the rod.  They would not need correction, only direction.  They would need instruction rather than discipline.  The fact of the matter though is that kids are not born morally neutral.  In Tripp’s words, “The child’s problem is not an information deficit.  His problem in that he is a sinner.”

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Ch. 10 – Embracing Biblical Methods: A Life of Communication – Shepherding A Child’s Heart (A Synopsis)

Shepherding A Child's HeartIn this installment of our synopsis of Tedd Tripp’s book “Shepherding A Child’s Heart,” we will look at Chapter 10 – “Embracing Biblical Methods: A Life of Communication.”

Tripp begins this chapter with the following observation, “Communication not only disciplines, it also disciples.”  Tripp reminds us of the call Deuteronomy 6 to talk to our kids at all time – lying down, walking, rising, sitting.  Making communication with our children a habit during normal times makes it easier to talk to them under the strain of difficult situations.

Tripp observes that having biblical conversations with our kids is not a short process.  It is a time-consuming, all-consuming pursuit.  It requires patience, insight and flexibility.  Any parent will understand that there are times when kids want to talk and times when they don’t.  In those times when their hearts are open to talking to us, we must be prepared to drop everything to seize the moment.  We must train our kids to communicate.  This also involves training them how to listen.  The most effective way to do this is to be an active listener ourselves.  Tripp points to Proverbs 18:2 which says, “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.”  We must listen as parents before we can be in a position to talk.

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Ch. 9 – Embracing Biblical Methods: Types of Communication – Shepherding A Child’s Heart (A Synopsis)

Shepherding A Child's HeartIn this installment of our synopsis of Tedd Tripp’s book “Shepherding A Child’s Heart,” we will look at Chapter 9 – “Embracing Biblical Methods: Types of Communication.”

In the last chapter, Tedd Tripp addressed the need for rich, full communication with our kids.  In this chapter he looks at different types of communication.  He notes that as parents we often reduce our role to three things: rules, correction, and punishment and notes that most parents would admit that 80-90% of their communication falls into one of those three areas.  While he admits that rules, correction and punishment are necessary in every family, there are other types of communication, and we do our kids great harm when we can’t discern the appropriate type of communication for the moment.

He offers descriptions of the following eight types of communication (he does note that these are selected types of communication and there are more):

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