Monday, April 23, 2012

Shepherding a Child's Heart- Chapter 6-7

If the end goal of man is to: 
"Glorify God and enjoy Him forever" 

What are we teaching our children if we always manage to find time for baseball or soccer 
practice - yet can't seem to squeeze in quiet time in the Word each day? 
What priorities are we living out loud? 

A favorite quote from chapter 6: 
"A biblical worldview dictates that you should teach your children to exercise and care for their 
bodies as an expression of stewardship of God's gifts." 

I would like to add that the same can be said for stewardship of the earth - 
it is our responsibility to care for the earth and all God created. 

One of the ways we "live that out-loud" in our family life is during our process of 
"Exploring God's Creation" - we have an ongoing family goal to examine - explore - and learn about 
the things of the earth - from the perspective that we can know God better through that 
examination. Our children are learning on a daily basis that it is all by Him - and for Him - and 
that He created the earth and all that is in it - at least in part - to communicate Himself to us. 

It is this kind of daily nurturing of our children's minds and hearts towards the things of God 
through family worship on a regular basis - that we impart these truths to our children. 
In our home - the mention of the things of God - flows in regular conversation throughout the day. 

It isn't a subject we study in school - or something we do on Sunday 
It is a way of life - living - breathing - and communicating the things of God. 
"Teaching your children to live for the glory of God must be your overarching objective" 
This is the worthy goal of parenting - all else falls right into place behind it. 

"Biblically, the method (of parenting) is as important as the objectives"

Many of the parenting techniques applied and acceptable in today's society are superficial. 
They address the behavior of the child - they even may successfully train the child to perform in an 
exemplary manner - impressive to the world- but they aren't addressing the heart issues. 

Technically - if you modify the behavior - you do indeed modify the heart - as they are so closely linked
but, most of the methods used today are not biblically sound. 
By rewarding good behavior and punishing bad behavior - what are we really training in the heart? 
If a child learns based on these methods - they are basically learning greedy self-interest and going
about the process of obtaining rewards instead of choosing to do what is right for the sake of 
doing what is right - and glorifying God with their life. 

"Behaviorism" works - it works well - children are smart and human nature dictates that they should follow after a system which rewards them. It does not however, turn their heart to God. 

1 Samuel 2:30
Therefore the LORD God of Israel says, I said indeed that your house, and the house of your father, should walk before me forever: but now the LORD says, Be it far from me; for them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

We see behavior modification, emotional approach, bribery approach, punitive approach - 

If the heart is the well-spring of life - which it is 
How are any of these methods biblical? They aren't!

I have fallen into the trap of working towards behavior modification myself - the book clubs we have done - both the "How to Have a Heart For Your Kids" and now this one "Shepherding a Child's Heart" 
have both helped me to reshape my goals as a parent. It's making a difference in our home. It's making a change in me - and in turn - it's making a change in the hearts of my children.

I encourage you to read them for yourself - you can find other book club posts here at The Pelsers

And I count. . . . . to #1000 Gifts and beyond: 
#241 - heart changes
#242- time to watch the birds 
#243- quiet moments before the boys get up 
#244- real change 
#245- seeing God move in the hearts of my children 
#246- hearing brothers pray together without my instruction 
#247- biblical priorities taking shape in our home 
#248- healing hearts 
#249- family pulling together to encourage each other in Christ 
#250- seeing the passion ignite to show others our Jesus 

Linking with these great blogs: 

*there are affiliate links in my post - if you purchase through one of these links - I do make a profit for our family - I do not condone products unless we love them - selling these books is not the purpose of this article but to share with you what I'm learning and how we are growing through reading them - thank you 


Anonymous said...

I read that book when my kids were little. Always good to revisit some good resources. Hope you are feeling better. Been thinking about you lately.

Anne Elliott said...

I think that I will write 1 Samuel 3:20 on an index card and post it in my kitchen window for a few days. It's loaded.

Thank you, Kelli! Good post!

Kelli Becton-AdventurezInChildRearing said...

Thank you ladies - The Bible is my main source of guidance - but these books are a great read - packed full of inspiration & have changed our home!

Alecia said...

I read Shepherding, when my kids were smaller, and it has been one of the most influential parenting books for me. It made me take a step back and re-evaluate what I was teaching my kids what was really important in life. It gave me a heart check.

Kathy said...

This is an excellent child training book! Definitely one that I reference in raising my three children. It really challenged me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

Court said...

I like that book too, but man is it convicting! It makes me realize how selfish I am with my time but helps me be more intentional with it also.

Pamela said...

The things of God in the regular flow of conversation. Love that. It works, too. I'm watching my daughter do the same with her small ones. She's the fourth generation. I hope I live to see the fifth!

Jennifer @ said...

I'm so sorry I'm late in getting here to your link, Kelli! Keep living out loud! xoxo

Jennifer @ said...

I'm wondering if you might want to consider linking it with the new week's linkup today, so more people will pop over perhaps? The link just went live. Don't feel that you must, but if you want to, please do so!

Laura said...

So many good thoughts here, Kelli. It amazes me how quickly I can get caught up in the competition game when it comes to my children. That's why it is always good to have friends like you to remind me where my focus should be. As long as they are close to Jesus...this is my heart's desire for them.

OrdainedPraise said...

Beautiful pictures...God talks to us through Creation...Awesome!