Chapter 4 -5
If you've been following any of the posts from this series so far - you already know that Tedd Tripp's
book isn't focused on teaching you to change your child's behavior - but to reach your child's heart.
In chapter 2-3 we read that there are "shaping influences" in your child's life that serve to shape who
they become. We learned that it's both his life experience and how he reacts to those life experiences
which make him who he is. Most importantly - we discovered that although we are responsible to teach
him to follow God's will for his life - we are not responsible for the choices he ultimately makes.
We are called to be in charge
Chapter 4-5 delves into the dynamics of the parent-child relationship. Although it's wonderful to enjoy
your children - we are not called to be their "friend" - we are called to be their authority.
The culture today does not like authority
It doesn't take a genius to see that parental authority is NOT what's going in much of the world today.
Without a biblical understanding - people of any culture cannot follow after God's will on any particular
topic - including that of parenting.
Freedom is not found in autonomy but in obedience
Psalm 119: 44- 47 teaches us that keeping God's law is the way to liberty. We must be bold in speaking
of His laws (especially with our own families) and take our delight from being under God's authority.
In John 14:15 - Jesus says, "If you love me, keep my commandments."
Children are called to obedience
Is it not true then that if we love
our children - we will also teach them to keep His commandments - and does that not include:
"Children obey your parents, in the Lord, for this is right"?
We are operating as God's agents
We answer directly to God for our actions. Our children answer directly to us. Therefore, we are in effect - agents of God in the lives of our children. When they obey their parents - they are obeying God.
So much more
The rest of the details in chapter 4 will help parents see "how" to implement the task of requiring and teaching obedience in your home. The details cover having clear objectives, no place for anger in teaching obedience, and humility. It spells out the benefits for children who learn to accept correction.
It teaches you to see discipline as what God intended it to be - an expression of love.
You can get as many answers to a question on parental goals as you have people. Godly parenting isn't about providing a child with "happiness" or even "good behavior". But should be about teaching their children to be "set apart" - to follow fervently after the things of God - to seek Him with their whole heart!
If you do not have this book - I cannot say enough to encourage you to get it and dive in! It's extremely affordable on Kindle from Amazon - save 64% and read it right from the computer. If you are a "book in hand" kinda person - you can get the paperback here for under $10 - Shepherding a Child's Heart
Our home is full of imperfect people. We all have our short-comings and need God's grace and
forgiveness every - single - day. My youngest son has been particularly challenging. You see, his birth
mother chose to expose him to drugs and chemicals in the womb. After he was born - there was neglect
- and we can only imagine what my child went through before we adopted him at 8 months of age. Our
son has been diagnosed with "defiance disorder".
He has had a huge battle on his little hands. We have had a huge battle on our hands. The enemy does not want a life of freedom and obedience for my baby - he thought this one was a shoe-in.
He thought wrong.
We have put Christ first in our home. Lord knows, I drop the ball. I feel defeat. I have felt that I was failing my children - but I press on toward the mark. As a homeschool mom -
I begin our days with the Word - we begin our homeschool with the Word and with prayer.
Yesterday was a terrible no good horrible very bad day. My son was determined to defy me on everything I said or did. He refused to obey in ways that I cannot even describe to you. It was all over him - every cell of his being was focused on doing the opposite of what I requested. You'd have to see it to believe it. His brothers were getting more and more upset on my behalf. (Most of this behavior is directed at me).
At one point - he went into a rage. A rage. I had to close the door of his room and walk away. He was violently out of control. I went to my own room to pray. Without my knowledge - our 10 year old had gone his knees as well. He asked God for wisdom and headed to the little guys room.
He told Spence he loves him. He asked his little brother why he'd want to behave this way. Spencer admitted that he didn't have any idea why he does the things he does. After a long heart to heart with his big brother- together they stood and shouted at the enemy to "get thee behind me". They knelt together and prayed - asking God for wisdom, strength, and courage to make the right choices and to follow after the things of God.
Now y'all - I realize that we will have other bad days. I know that the war isn't over. But - God has the victory in our home. We are filling our children with the living Word of God - and HE is turning their hearts.
I share this story because . . . . .
I want to encourage you
No matter what giants you are facing - our God can move mountains! He is working a miracle in our home - and He wants to in yours. Don't throw in the towel on parenting because of past mistakes- press on. Fill your home with truth - lean on God's Word. Pour yourself into teaching the Bible in your home - and God will be faithful. My children are not my own - they are His. My life is not my own - it is His.
Joshua 24: 15 "As for me and my house - we will serve the Lord."
Counting to #1000 Gifts and beyond:
#241 - power of the Word
#242 - faithfulness of the Almighty God
#243 - this online book club
#244 - encouraging friends who pray
#245 - grace on a daily basis
#246 - authority over darkness
#247 - power in the blood
#248 - praying children
#249 - little one's learning to follow after God
#250 - miracles