Monday, July 16, 2012

Book Review: Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp

Buy it HERE.

At my church we have a ministry called D6 after Deuteronomy Chapter 6 where parents are instructed to teach their children about Yahweh whenever the opportunity presents.

This past semester we went through this book. One of the most central tenants of the book is that children are not born neutral.  They are sinners and need guidance, instruction, and most importantly the Gospel of grace in Jesus Christ.

The book is extremely helpful and practical in applying very specific information and strategies for very specific ages and developmental stages of a child's life.  It is a huge undertaking, but one I am excited to employ in concert with prayer routinely for patience, diligence, and forgiveness in its administration..

The book takes a very biblical approach and worldview regarding rearing, nurturing, disciplining, cherishing, and raising our children. 

Most pressing however is the need for the parent to apply the same message to their own soul in keeping Christ the center of all we do and attempt to do and hope to do someday.  It is so easy and such a poignant reflection of our fallness that we examine and study with dligence the best methods to raise and train someone else to love and worship Jesus and to become all of things we wish we were, but are not.  These same principles upon which we marvel are the same we should be applying to ourselves and God as a good Father is faithful to apply to us.  As parents, we have not escaped the need for a Father.

I recommend it particularly for families with young children or families hoping to someday have children.  It provides a crucial framework that is much easier implemented on the front end than backfilled later.  God's grace is sufficient to compensate for all of our failures and oversights whether we are prepared or become Christians late in the game after our children have already learned our bad parenting habits.  His grace also covers parents who are Christian from the beginning and yet fall short of God's glory in their application of His Word.  Either way, this book challenges the parent to return to a Biblical understanding of your parental role, your children, your soul, and your deepest need.

There is advice on teaching your children to know themselves as the person God has created, to know their God, and to know their neighbor.  In understanding these through a Biblical worldview, we will appreciate and worship Jesus all the more.

The book mentions, comes back to, and points to the Gospel throughout.  The best news in the world is the Good News of Jesus Christ.  This book provides ample advice on how to prepare the soul of your child to embrace, understand, apply, and appreciate this Good News.


My children,

Please know that much thought, prayer, planning, thinking, and practicing of these principles went into raising you to know and love Jesus Christ.  May you thank God for your mother and me and our feeble attempts to show you the majesty of Jesus.  May you forgive us our faults and thank God for our weakness in showing you the power of God in the Gospel of His Christ alone!  The LORD disciplines those He loves and corrects those He receives.  Your mom and I have disciplined you and trained you and guided you because of our great love and passion for you as persons whom God has given us to steward.

Hebrews 12:5-11

5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”

7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

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