Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Books #19: Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp

I have three children that I love more than I can express in words. Last year I did a series of blog posts about them, saying why I love them so much (Karsten, J.T., Anni). These may be the favorite blog posts that I have written to date. I truly do love them!

While I fail often, I truly do desire to bring them up in the ways of Jesus, teaching and instructing them. I want them to love Jesus more than anything else this world has to offer. And this book, Shepherding a Child's Heart, by Tedd Tripp has played an major role in my life in regards to my parenting.

What I love about this book is that it deals not just with external behaviors, but tries to get the parent to deal with the heart of their child. It is not about the hitting of their sibling, it is about the anger in their heart that led them to hit their sibling.

I also love the fact that this was one of the first books that I really read that dealt with the significance the gospel should make in our everyday life. The gospel is how you shepherd your children. He says in the introduction, "The central focus of parenting is the gospel. You need to direct not simply the behavior of your children, but the attitudes of their hearts. You need to show them not just the 'what' of their sin and failure, but the 'why.' Your children desperately need to understand not only the external 'what' they did wrong, but also the internal 'why' they did it. You must help them see that God works from the inside out. Therefore, your parenting goal cannot simply be well-behaved children. Your children must also understand why they sin and how to recognize internal change" (xxi-xxii).

I have given this book away to many people. It is the main book that we give to those who are first time parents. If you are a parent (specifically a parent to young children) and you have not read this book, you need to stop what you are doing and order it today! It is that important. And if you ever get a chance to attend a seminar with Dr. Tripp, it is well worth the time and effort. You can find his schedule by going HERE! We have had him at our church and it was one of the best conferences we have ever been to. I pray this book will change the way you parent.

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