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Shepherding Your Child’s Heart – Shaping Influences and Dealing with them…

September 18, 2011

During our Adult SS class we are working through Shepherding your Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp. It is an excellent resource that every serious parent should give time to read and study. This week we will be discussing the issue of shaping influences and the God-ward orientation of children’s hearts.

There are many shaping influences that we have no control over as parents. These things include God’s dealings with us in divine providence. Things like sickness, death or social and cultural movements that bleed into our lives and homes. There are many things in the early years in particular that we can control by way of shaping influences. Our family atmosphere is one, our relationships in terms of conflict resolution and sometimes the lack thereof, attitudes towards work, education, recreation etc.

Our children are not neutral non-responders, they are innate worshipers of something, they will respond according to the disposition of their hearts. We are called as parents to shepherd the hearts of children in a God-ward way, in a way that will lead them by God’s grace to respond in ways that please God. Too many of us make the focus of our parenting the shaping influences on their lives but we neglect the God-ward orientation of their heart. We need to see the danger of this and avoid it.

We should seek to govern the shaping influences on the lives of our children by Scripture, but we should also seek to shepherd their hearts as they respond to the shaping influences on their lives. Our desire is to see them love God, delight in God, serve God and please God in every area of life.

Pick up a copy of Ted’s book and read it, you will be challenges, encouraged and helped as a parent !

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 18, 2011 5:46 am

    I seems like my reading and your comments are dovetailing a bit.

    My friend Paul and I have been reading Francis Shaeffer’s True Spirituality. He mentions Jesus’ said that if anyone was to follow him that they need to deny themselves, take up the cross of Christ, and follow Him. This reflects what Jesus tells the disciples earlier in the passage, “the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be alain, and be raised the third day.”

    Schaeffer argues, “Jesus carries this concept of [us] facing the rejection, being slain, down into a very practical situation: facing an alien world.”

    In thinking about what you’re saying from Tripp and what we’re reading in Schaeffer, we face a challenge in exposing the our children’s true heart condition to them as members of that sinful “alien world”; and, yet holding out the hope of escape and life through the death and resurrection of Christ.

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