Ch. 2 – Your Child’s Development: Shaping Influences – Shepherding A Child’s Heart (A Synopsis)

Shepherding A Child's HeartIn our continued synopsis of Tedd Tripp’s book “Shepherding A Child’s Heart,” we are now up to Chapter 2 – “Your Child’s Development: Shaping Influences.”

This chapter deals with the shaping influences in a child’s life.  Mr. Tripp defines shaping influences as,

“those events and circumstances in a child’s developmental years that prove to be catalysts for making him the person he is.”

Mr. Tripp explains that the person our child becomes is ultimately the product of two things:

1. His Life Experiences; and

2. How the child interacts with those experiences

Our children’s interactions with their shaping influences is dealt with in Chapter 3 of the book, and we will deal with that in the next installment.  Mr. Tripp identifies six shaping influences in our children’s lives.  He points out that most of these are “both within and outside parental control:”

1. Structure of Family Life

How is the family set up?  Is it traditional?  How many parents in the home?  How many generations?  How many kids in the family?  What is their birth order?  All of these impact our view of life when we get older.

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Ch. 1 – Getting to the Heart of Behavior – Shepherding A Child’s Heart (A Synopsis)

Shepherding A Child's HeartWe continue our synopsis of Tedd Tripp’s book “Shepherding A Child’s Heart” with a look at the first chapter titled “Getting to the Heart of Behavior.”  This chapter starts out with a reminder of what Proverbs 4:23 declares to be the truth of God:

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

That Proverb becomes the basis for Chapter 1 and the rest of the book.  In Tedd Tripp’s words, “The scripture teaches that the heart is the control center for life.”

So, what does this have to do with parenting?  Tripp explains that our kids’ actions, everything they do and say, reflcts what is in their hearts.  In other words, behavior is not the end all and be all when it comes to parenting.  The fundamental issue to parenting, if we really want to help our kids, is what is going on in the heart.

I personally found the following excerpt from Chapter 1 very convicting:

“A change in behavior that does not stem from a change in the heart is not commendable; it is condemnable.  Is it not the hypocrisy that Jesus condemned in the Pharisees?  In Matthew 15, Jesus denounces the Pharisees who have honored him with their lips while their hearts were far from him.   Jesus censures them as people who wash the outside of the cup while the inside is still unclean.  Yet this is often what we do in child rearing.  We demand changed behavior and never address the heart that drives the behavior.”

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Introduction – Shepherding A Child’s Heart (A Synopsis)

Shepherding A Child's Heart
Several years ago, I read one of the best books on parenting which I have ever come across.  That book was Shepherding A Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp.  I remember being impacted by the book at that time, but I never really thought about it much after that.
Since that time, my life has changed.  I’m another five years down the road in my walk with Christ (I was a relatively new Christian when I read the book the first time).  The dynamic of my family has changed as well.  My oldest son has become a teenager, my next oldest son is approaching the “tween” years, my daughter has started school (she was a baby when I read it the first time), and we have a new addition to our family.  My youngest son will be 2 this summer.  Frankly, I believe we as evangelicals have largely ignored our children as the mission field that God has blessed us with.
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