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. 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):

1. Encouragement

Our kids need communication designed to build them up and inspire them.  Part of that is giving kids the encouragement that Christ came because we are all sinners who cannot change ourselves.  We should encourage our kids to find courage and hope in God.

2. Correction

Tripp describes this as bringing a child back into conformity with a standard.  Our job as parents is to help our kids understand God’s standard and judge their behavior based on that standard.

3. Rebuke

This type of communication censures behavior.  Tripp explains, “Sometimes a child must experience your sense of alarm, shock, and dismay at what he has said or done.”  He does point out that a rebuke would generally be followed with other types of communication such as instruction, encouragement and prayer.

4. Entreaty

Tripp explains that this is a type of earnest and intense communication by which we plead, solicit, urge and even beg.  The parent bears his soul to plead for his child to act in wisdom and faith.  It should be reserved for use only in extremely important circumstances.

5. Instruction

This is a type of communication that provides a lesson, principle, or information to help our kids better understand the world or God’s standards.

6. Warning

To warn our kids is to put them on notice regarding potential dangers in their lives.  Tripp advises that “One of the most powerful ways we can warn our children is to fill their heads with the cautions of the Bible.”  He explains that a warning is simply a statement that “A leads to B.”  This is the sowing and reaping principle we find throughout the Bible.

7. Teaching

Tripp defines teaching as “the process of imparting knowledge.”  We teach our kids based upon our ability to draw upon our own knowledge of scripture.

8. Prayer

Prayer is communication with God, not our children.  However, Tripp explains that it is an “essential element of communication between the parent and the child.”  He explains that listening to our children pray often provides some of the keenest insights into our kids.  He describes their prayers as a “window to their souls.”

Personal Observation

Many times parents default to either rules, communication or punishment in talking to their kids.  Most of the time, it is because that is easier than discerning the appropriate type of communication for the moment at hand.  Discernment takes practice.  One useful tip might be to make a list of different types of communication and what they are (including the eight above) so you will have a handy list when you need it.  Prayer is also key in the process of discernment.

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