2020-02-26 to 28 Pictures: Charleston, South Carolina

One of the few upsides of having to cancel our Spring Break trip last March at the onset of the pandemic is that we are "stuck" with a rather large voucher from one of those discount airlines. Last autumn, Tricia and I spent a weekend in Savannah, Georgia and had a...

A John 3:16 Craft for Kids

John 3:16 is one of the most well known and reassuring verses in the Bible. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16 (NIV) The following is a little craft I threw...

2020-03-01 Pictures: Lyndsey’s College Signing Day

This afternoon Lyndsey made it official, signing her letter of intent to play college basketball for the Hiram College Terriers starting next year. While she made the decision and committed to Hiram before Christmas, she has been looking forward to this day since her...

2020-02-13 Pictures: Lyndsey’s 18th Birthday

I am little behind on posting photos. These are some of my favorites from a couple of weekends ago when we got a chance to celebrate Lyndsey's 18th birthday. It's hard to believe that my little girl is officially an adult. It was nice to have the family all back...


Introduction I love working with kids, and I love teaching them hard concepts in ways they can understand. To that end, for years I have been working on a dictionary of theological terms for kids and teens. In sharing those definitions, there seemed no better place to...

If You Want It Done Right

In all likelihood, you know how the phrase ends: If you want it done right, DO IT YOURSELF! This is a bit of a mantra for me, and frankly, something that I struggle with daily both in leadership and in my Christian walk.  In theory, this is easy to accept. ...

What Does God Hate?

This is the little and humble post that started it all. I happened to be reading through my Bible, and this passage impacted me so much that I posted a little blurb about it on Facebook. That was July 28, 2008, and I've been writing and sharing ever since. (Maybe...

Ch. 6: Reworking Your Goals – 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 6 – “Reworking Your Goals.”

In this chapter, Tripp calls parents to rethink their goals for their children in light of the chief end of man – that being to glorify God and enjoy him forever.  In doing so, Tripp looks at the 7 areas addressed in the last chapter.

1. Developing Special Skills

Tripp points out that there is no biblical mandate to, nor a verse that even supports the idea of, developing our children’s self-worth.  All of the activities which we busy our kids with tend to teach them to trust in themselves.  The Bible tells us that those who trust in themselves are fools!  The concepts of self-trust and self-love that are so prevalent in our culture today turn people from God.  Furthermore, the amount of time that these activities takes up tend to become the priority for families and distract from biblical goals such as time spent reading the scriptures, prayer and more.  Rather than viewing these special skills as the goal for our kids, we should remember that the real reason for developing any skills is to be a good steward of the gifts God has given us.

2. Psychological Adjustment

Rather than subcumbing to the “self esteem” craze, our goals in this area should really be to teach our children:

  • to entrust themselves to God,
  • to see the needs of others around them,
  • to learn to make peace, and
  • that a soft answer turns away wrath.

3. Saved Children

The principal problem with the goal of saved children is that it looks to the spiritual moment of salvation alone and does not address the spiritual process of nurturing our kids.  The true aim for a genuine Christian life is progressive growth.  Tripp observes that all life rushes towards that day when all of us will be called before the throne of God to give an account for our lives.   Rather than focusing solely on salvation, our goal as parents should be teach our kids to trust God both for salvation and for daily living.  In simple terms, the author explains, “Faith is not just a way to get saved; it is the lifeline for Christian living.”  To that end, kids must be taught how to repent.  They need to know the forgiveness of God, not just to get saved, but in living their daily lives.

4. Family Worship

It is very easy in life to confuse the means and the end.  Tripp cautions that we must remember that family worship is a means and not the end.  Tripp suggests that the daily reading of Proverbs is a valuable thing to do with your kids.  As he points out, Proverbs serves as “an owner’s manual for life” and confronts a child with every aspect of true spirituality.

5. Well Behaved Children

The Biblical view of manners is that they are an expression and application of the principal of loving our neighbor more than ourself.  Tripp reminds us that well behaved children is a side affect of shepherding their hearts but cannot be the principal goal.

6. Good Educations

Tripp rightly expresses that the Bible does not anywhere set good grades as a goal for our kids.  Tripp further explains that many parents exacerbate the problem by adding unbiblical incentives for getting good grades (such as a certain amount of money for certain grade).  In doing this, we undermine the fact that children must learn to do their work diligently for God and not solely for a reward.

Finally, Tripp answers the primary objection he gets when he raises these points.  That objection is something to the effect of, “What if my kids aren’t believers?”  Tripp’s answer, in a nutshell, is to ask, “should we teach unbelievers to disobey the word of God?”  He points out that if we hold them to the standard of God’s law, it becomes the beacon of light that could lead them to Christ.  As parents, we should always be pointing to Christ’s work, his power and his grace.  Our main objective is to teach our kids to live for the glory of God and find true life in knowing and serving him.  We must impress on our kids that a life lived for God is the only worthy goal in life.

Personal Observation

The differences between the societal norms for raising our kids and what the Bible says are striking!  It is clear that our culture’s goals for raising kids are at best inadequate, and at worst, contrary to the will of God.  As parents, we must diligently work to discern whether or not we have made one of these unbiblical goals an idol in our children’s lives.  If we have, we have failed, and we must take that failure to the cross of Christ to find redemption before we can hope to redeem our kids.

<<LAST TIME: Chapter 5 – Examining Your Goals

Ch. 7 – Discarding Unbiblical Methods: NEXT TIME>>

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