Friday, April 13, 2012
Shepherding a Child's Heart
It is time once again to discuss Chapters 2 and 3 in Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp. I am sorry I am so late getting to this but am battling some health problems at the same time. Chapter 2 was titled - Your Child's Development: Shaping Influences and Chapter 3 was titled - Your Child's Development: Godward Orientation. While both chapters were very informative, it was much easier for me to relate to chapter 3 because (I think) Godward Orientation should be the priority and the shaping influences flow from this. In fact, one of my favorite quotes is:
"As a college student, I received my first exposure to sailing. I recall my amazement to learn that the direction of the craft is not determined by the direction of the breeze, but by the trim of the sail. In a sense, Godward Orientation is like the set of the sail in a child's life. Whatever the shaping influences of life, it is the child's Godward Orientation that determines his response to those shaping influences."
As you can see here, if the sail isn't trimmed properly (if the child does not have the love and knowledge of Christ in his/her heart)...the breeze ("selfishness and rebellion against authority" p.24) will carry him or her down the path of "trying to make sense out of life without God." (p. 24) This quite often leads to "the idolatry of rebellion against God's authority and his/her determination to be one's own authority" (p.24) which can lead to vice. Good Moms know their child is not born perfect and needs to be nurtured and guided toward truth. It is a journey, a direction, that needs to start off on the right foot from the earliest years. These early years trim the sail to set a course for your child to continue a smooth journey their entire life and enhance their own choices to bring him or her to a glorious redemption and salvation in Jesus Christ.
The shaping influences discussed in chapter 2 would be very interesting to write out one's own 'lists' for these items:
1) Structure of Family Life
2) Family Values
3) Family Roles
4) Family Response to Failure
5) Family History
6) Family Conflict Resolution.
While these items are very important, the priority still remains 'God Orientation.' Nevertheless, chapter 2 caused me to ask various questions that may be interesting to think about. For example,
Tedd Tripp describes 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." I'm just curious why shepherding to achieve a 'God Orientation' isn't included in 'shaping influences?' Is reading the bible an event or circumstance in one's daily affairs that instills in one's heart a wise and better response to the environment around them? This response points to his character or 'person he is.' Or is 'Godward Orientation' listed separately, outside of shaping influences, for some specific reason? Is this because 'Godward Orientation' is the only influence that initiates or triggers a response from the heart while the other shaping influencers just influence without having an affect on one's heart? He does explain that children are 'active responders' of shaping. This means all shaping, right? What part of our faith shapes? Just something to think about. While I don't know why my brain does this quite often, I will refrain from putting all the questions from chapter 2 I have here to eliminate confusion. Both chapters have been very informative and I am really enjoying Tedd Tripp's wisdom. I would highly recommend reading his book if your a parent!