[Review] Shepherding a Child’s Heart

Readability:  1

Length: 210 pgs

Author:  Tedd Tripp

Parents, what is your ultimate goal in parenting?  In Shepherding a Child’s Heart Tedd Tripp exposes some unbiblical goals such as developing special skills, psychological adjustment, saved children, family worship, well behaved children, education, control.  What is the ultimate goal?  Tripp answers with the first question / answer of the Shorter Catechism.

Q. What is the chief end of man?

A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever

Is there any other goal that is worthy? Are you willing to start here with our children? You must equip your children to function in a culture that has abandoned the knowledge of God. If you teach them to use their abilities, aptitudes, talents and intelligence to make their lives better, without reference to God, you turn them away from God. If your objectives are anything other than “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever,” you teach your children to function in the culture on its terms. 

How do we do this? We pander to their desires and wishes. We teach them to find their souls delight in going places and doing things. We attempt to satisfy their lust for excitement. We fill their young lives with distractions from God. We give them material things and take delight in possessions. Then we hope that somewhere down the line they will see that a life worth living is found only in knowing and serving God.

Oh for God-glorifying, gospel-saturated homes!  Praise God for Tedd Tripp and his service to us toward that goal.  Shepherding a Child’s Heart is a thoroughly Biblical approach to parenting.  This book is not full of practical ideas to help you get what you want out of your children, but what God wants.  This is not a book about behavior modification, but about the heart.  Parents I urge you, read this book.

When we miss the heart, we miss the gospel.  If the goal of parenting is only securing proper behavior we will never help our children understand the internal things – the heart issues – that push and pull behavior. Those internal issues: self-love, rebellion, anger, bitterness, envy and pride of the heart show our children how profoundly they need grace.  If the problem with children is deeper than inappropriate behavior, if the problem is the way the heart has enthroned something other than God, then the need for grace is established.  Jesus came to earth. Lived a perfect life and died as an infinite sacrifice so that children (and their parents) can be forgiven, transformed, liberated and empowered to love God and others.

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