Friday, June 8, 2012
Shepherding a Child's Heart
I know it is a bit late but I wanted to post a little something about Chapter 14: Infancy to Childhood: Training Objectives and Chapter 15: Infancy to Childhood: Training Procedures in Amanda Pelser's book club for Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp. At the end of each chapter, there is a list of Application Questions for parents that really make you analyze your dedication to Christian parenting. I highly suggest you read this book so that you can answer these questions to help you analyze one's devotion to Christian parenting.
To begin, Mr. Tripp mentions Ephesians 6:1-3 and has a superb illustration referring to this verse you can show your children in order to remain in God's protective "Circle of Blessing." Honoring and obeying parents is a major part of remaining in this "Circle of Blessing" which means submitting to parental authority. There were numerous times that 'submission' and 'spanking' were mentioned in these chapters. While submission by discipline and/or punishment can be effective at times, submission is also directly linked to the virtue of humility which was not mentioned in these chapters. God's Word and the sacraments can also play a vital role in teaching children to be humble [1) not proud or haughty: not arrogant or assertive 2) reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission.] In fact, through out the entire Gospel, Jesus is constantly pointing to the grave attitudes of the proud and haughty Pharisees. Humility is the exact opposite of this arrogance. Children are smart and can learn this.
Therefore, we can reflect, express, and offer the humility God's grace bestows on our hearts when we pursue the Lord through scripture, sacramental blessings, Church tradition, and/or chosen community leaders. We come to live out a desire to gain favor of our God and parents by not only learning submission to authority through 'taking a set back' after we've disobeyed, but can also actually fall so in love with the Lord's wisdom and holiness through scripture and sacramental blessings that we desire to make the Lord's efforts our own efforts. This helps us to strive to 'move forward' and limits the times we 'fall back' to live as Christian disciples. So be aware that God-given humility fosters submission in our children too.
Shepherding a Child's Heart is a great read and I do not want to bore you with little details about our specific strengths and weaknesses as parents. I basically wanted to praise the efforts of Tedd Tripp and also point out that a child who leaves the "Circle of Blessing" does not always have to have the rod applied for disciplining. I guess it depends on the circumstances, age, and temperament of the child.