Sunday, April 15, 2012

Shepherding a Child's Heart- Chapter 2-3

"All the aspects of family living have a profound impact on the persons 
your children become." Tedd Trip 

Who's responsible? 
No pressure or anything. But, ALL the aspects of family living - means ALL. 
We are big believers that "families who pray and play together stay together" - as a Christian homeschool family who love the outdoors - we have to opportunity every single day to instill these same values in our children. We actually enjoy the company of our children and see them as blessings from the Lord - not as a way to punish us for things we did to our own parents. Although, it has become apparent to me that God really does have a sense of humor in this department. 

The main point to Trip's second chapter is that although we have responsibilities to teach our children what is right - to provide structure, guidance, encouragement, and love to our little blessings -

 THEY are responsible for the way they respond to our parenting.

We had a wonderful time on this particular family adventure. We camped, hiked, and learned about nature. We sat by the fire and told stories, talked about the stars and how wonderful God is in His creativity. We made beautiful memories - as we always do when spending time together outdoors. 

But, we have three little boys. One hit the other (says it was an accident) the other responded with a strike back. We had them settle it and shake hands. At one point - someone had the SAME EXACT STICK that another wanted (you know how boys are about their sticks) we encouraged them to work it out themselves. Then there was this other thing - and the kid who threw themselves down on the ground - right there in front of God and everybody. 

They are good boys, but you know what? It doesn't matter if we are headed to church, the grocery store, or on a big adventure - there are always "things" for us to guide them through. (read arguments to break up, discipline to hand out, and whining to put a cork in encourage to stop) 


Most everywhere we go - I have people compliment how "well behaved" my children are (not during that "throw himself in the floor" incident) but, it's not because they don't do normal kid stuff. It's because we do continue to lovingly guide them back on track. (Ok - a couple of times here and there - I talk through my teeth). When the going get's tough, we just keep on going and pray our way through it. 

I mess up regularly - just like my children. One of the things Trip said in chapter 2 of major significance is this "don't let guilt over your parenting failures keep you from parenting!" 

These are just SOME of the shaping influences in our children's lives. 

Parenting and sailing: 

"The direction of the craft is not determined by the direction of the breeze 
                                                                               but by the trim of the sail" Tedd Trip

Children are not born as neutral beings. They are born worshipers - they will worship things of God or the things of man. Our job is to teach and train them to love, value, and worship the things of God rather than man. Ultimately, they will choose to accept or reject God's direction for their life. 

If they love the things of God - they will respond to His authority through you as the parent. 
Their Godward orientation is like the set of the sail.  *total paraphrase from the book 

Proverbs 4:23 
"Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it 
SPRING the issues of LIFE" 

Are you focused on the behavior of your children? Or on what's going on in their heart? 

Call me a dork - a Jesus freak - whatever - but one of my new favorite questions for my children is: 
"What would Jesus do?" 
Ya know what? It's a much easier way to break up a fight
 - turns out, my boys DO care what Jesus wants of them!

 As Christian parents - we are the agents of Christ in the lives of our children. 

How I'm sharing Christ with them this week: 
We start our homeschool each day by reading and practicing a bible verse to memorize - This week- 
Ephesians 4:32 
"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted forgiving one another; even as God in Christ, 
has forgiven you"

We repeat it back and forth to each other - discuss what it means - then pray and ask God to help us to remember not just the words, but to use it in our life. 
We read and discuss several bible stories through the week - I love hearing what my kids "think" about what we are reading and how they believe it can be applied in their lives. I try to find key times during our week to remind them of what we are learning. 
We sing songs of praise. We are currently learning and singing the songs from"Family Worship Seeds"

On my recent trip to ApologiaLive (now called Real Refreshment) - I had the privilege of meeting Pam Tebow - yes- Timmy's mother. One of the things they did in their home while Tim Tebow was a growing boy is to sing scriptures. Pam said that singing the word helped them all memorize scripture. She attributes "hiding God's word in their hearts" as a major influence in the lives of her children. 

Me, Kelli, Rebecca, Amanda, Pam Tebow, Kathy
How about you? Are you Shepherding your child's heart? Please feel free to share ways that you've  found to help train your children toward the Lord in the comments below. 

For more information about joining the book club or getting your own copy go here.

Counting to #1000 Gifts and beyond: 
#231. Singing scriptures with my children
#232. Learning from other mother's who love the Lord 
#233. Growing with Christian sisters 
#234. Encouragement from a stranger 
#235. Grace and strength to push through 
#236. A fresh start - a "do-over" 
#237. Hearts turning toward Jesus 
#238. Music filling the house with songs of praise 
#239. Laundry almost caught up - one thing at a time
#240. Children soaking up the Word and being a witness to their heart changes! 

Proud to link with encouraging sisters: 


LRmom said...

Love this the heart and to the point. We are the shepards and they are the sheep, for our Lord we are asked to lead them in the way of the Lord. Now off to make my own list and write some ways we help the shepard them towards God.

Rebecca said...

Yes, it's our responsibility to teach and train them, but we can't force them to open their hearts.... I love this book...wish I had time to join in the review with you,but you are doing a GREAT job (in all areas,!)

ells said...

so happy and thankful to hear of continued health:)...oh if I would have sung to my kids...ouch...but I did have a lot of scripture tapes(that dates me doesn't it:) I loved them and learned as well...blessings to your week~

Kelli Becton-AdventurezInChildRearing said...

Ells- we still have a record player and the boys listen to the Christian records that I used to listen to :) I'll have to do a post about that!

Court said...

What great words. I could certainly stand to be more intentional with my kids as (gasp) I let them watch way too much TV this past weekend when we were all sick. Though that nugget about encouraging them to work out a minor dispute themselves is something I've gotten pretty good at doing. I suppose the real way to get them to stop fighting over the TV though is to not let them watch so much!

Meredith said...

I love this, Kelli --
Thank you for the insights.

And such a beautiful list of blessings.
Life is wonderful!

Lisa said...

What a beautiful post! Learning Scripture through music sounds like a wonderful idea. I pray that our efforts in teaching and training our children will yield great fruit!

Jenn said...

This book was recommended to me when I was pregnant, and I'm so glad it was! It's been a long time though, and I am grateful for your reminders as you go through it with us:)

Jenn said...

Me again:) I tagged you in a question and answer post, if that's not too obnoxious and you aren't too busy! Otherwise, no worries! Thanks, Jenn

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Brandee Shafer said...

My mom used to make my brother and me hold hands and recite Eph 4:32 when we fought. We both know it, cold, to this day.

I've gone through this study. I bought into most of it.

I believe we (w/ God's help) are responsible for cultivating our children's hearts. So, for example, my 2yo chases ducks. I know her heart isn't bad b/c she chases ducks. But it's my place to teach her why chasing ducks is an unkind thing to do; otherwise, her heart will remain innocent, and she'll chase those dad-gum ducks the next time, too.

Michelle Eichner said...

That's a great book. And, for sure, having God's word in their hearts (& mine!) is a great help in changing attitudes. He's so much better at that than I! :-) Loved your insights; thanks for sharing!

Michelle Eichner said...

PS - My favorite part was your willingness to share your boys' real behavior and boy-ness!! I so can relate with 3 of my own!! Thanks. :-)

Laura said...

I just love this post, Kelli (and I can't get over those three boys! What cuties.) I remember talking to an 80 year old woman once about leading her son. She said it never ends :). They always need us, don't they? Lovely thoughts here.

Amanda @ The Pelsers said...

Love this. Sure it freeing, isn't it :)