*Just a reminder that this study of Shepherding a Child’s Heart, is not by any means me teaching, but rather a simple summary chapter by chapter of his book for my own enrichment.*
We can tend to focus on the external behavior instead of the internal overflow of the heart…. We tend to worry more about the what of behavior instead of the why.
Ultimately, when we miss the heart, we miss the gospel. Demanding appropriate behavior will not help children understand heart issues, and ultimately how a sinful heart is in need for grace. When we miss the heart, we miss the glory of God.
“One of the most important callings God has given parents is to display the greatness, goodness, and glory of the God for whom they are made.”
Many kids do not look to their parents as an authority and by age 10-12 they are totally respectless. Culture does not want Dad to be the boss and home or Mom to be submissive to dad. Children are no longer submissive. If the old authoritarian ways are no longer valid, what method should we use?
Experience might fail us, but the only safe guide is the Bible, absolute truth from an infinitely knowledgeable God.
We should be a kind authority, a shepherd to our children so they can understand themselves in God’s world, and keep the gospel in clear view.
1. Authority. God is our authority and has put people in authority around us. It is not something embarrassing to be in a place of authority for the kids, as we exercise authority as God’s agent….to lay down our own lives and selflessly raise the kids.
a. Of course Jesus is the perfect example of this. He has all authority yet is a servant. He allows people in their submission to live freely in the freedom of the gospel.
b. Parents must exercise authority and expect obedience as they are called by God to obey and honor their parents.
2. Shepherding. We are to guide the children to understand themselves, others, and God .
3. Gospel. God’s gospel is powerful, and meets the needs of fallen humanity. Tripp expects God’s word to be the power of God to salvation for his children. His desire for his children to be believers is not based on a formula but on the gospel. If children see the what/why of their sins they will understand their need of savior.
“The gospel enables you and your children to face the worst in yourselves; your sin, your badness, and your weakness, and still find hope, because grace is powerful.”
Getting to the heart of behavior.
The heart determines behavior. Either evil actions and speech well up from the heart, or good things that are stored up in the heart.
Behavior is not the basic issue, but rather what is going on in the heart.
Wow, Tripp says that a change in behavior that does not stem from a change of heart is NOT commendable, it is condemnable! It is hypocrisy!
As we shepherd our children, we must always draw them back to a view of their hearts, the root of their behavior, and their need for God’s law and his salvation.