Monday, March 22, 2010

Preparing for Shepherding

In anticipation of this weekend's parenting conference, I recently reread Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp. I last read it before we had any kids. At the time, it was one of those books that you like and know has good stuff in it. Because I wasn't in this phase of life, I didn't have a sense of urgency over putting some of the application into practice in my own life. Four kids later, it's a totally different story.

From the publisher.....
Shepherding a Child's Heart is about how to speak to the heart of your child. Bringing deep biblical principals to the task of parenting and concentrating on what is going on inside a child rather than just their outside behavior.
This easy to read, 200+ page book was good for me. Biblical principles is what Nathan and I have always sought in the raising of our children so the content of this book was easy to agree with. This parenting how-to used Bible, Bible, Bible. If doing things the way of the Bible is not what you had in mind, then this is not for you. As with any self-help, how-to, instructional type book, there are a few things that don't jive with me but I could completely see myself doing and saying some of the things Tripp illustrates. I realized how I often am not looking into the deeper meaning behind the behavior of my children. True, I firmly believe they are all sinners - have been since they were born - but their behavior is portraying the condition of their heart and I far too many times do not connect those dots. This book has caused me to really evaluate why I react the way I do and how I can more effectively meet the spiritual needs of their hearts. There are so many instances that I just correct or discipline the behavior to suit my needs (otherwise known as sanity) instead of taking the time to bring them along in their journey to love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul and mind.

Parenting is hard. Biblical parenting is really hard. Because we have four little currently lost people entrusted to us, I will continue to pour biblical principles into their lives despite how challenging and exhausting it is. I will strive to be more diligent and intentional in my parenting so that one day (prayerfully very soon and without much baggage) they will, as we tell them in their terms, 'make Jesus Christ the boss of them'. It's a hard job, but I am the one tasked with doing it for Toads, Girly Girl, Samoosa and String Bean. I am truly blessed to be able to be mom to these four. I love my job!

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