…The disciplines of childhood would harden into concrete adult lives. I waxed eloquently. They listened politely and appropriately. When given a chance they ran… (Ted Tripp)
How often do I feel Tripp’s above statement. As I am explaining disciplines to my children, they listen but do they hear and when given the chance they smile and go on with their lives. Tripp explains the statement of shaping influences – events & circumstances in a child’s developmental years that prove to be catalysts for who he/she is to become. All the aspects of family living have a profound impact on the persons your children become.
This made me think of my day from sunrise to sunset. I enjoy getting up before the children and having a time with God. Praying and reading his word. This always gives me a better start to my day. Days that I do not have my quiet time with God, they lack refreshment. Knowing this, I have never started the kids days that way. I have never got them up and prayed and read God’s word with them to start their day anew. Would it not make sense that this would make for a better day for them as well?
Deuteronomy 6:2 says, “so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.” I enjoy life when I live it by God’s commands and when I start my days, seek Him through my days, and end my days with Him. I desire my children and my children’s children to enjoy long life as well.
Tripp goes on to say, “the person your child becomes is a product of two things. First is his/her life experience. The second (and in my opinion the more important of the two), how he/she interacts with that experience. It had me thinking how do I and my husband react to experiences?
We want our children to react Godly to situations. They see God through us, our testimony and how we react to situations. How we react is often how our kids will react. Do we stop in prayer and praise and thank the Lord for is grace and mercies in daily situations? Do we drop to our knees in front of our children when we need guidance? I know many times I do these small prayers in my head, when perhaps I should be taking the time to do them with my children. Nothing is more important than showing my children God’s love, mercy, and grace. Showing them God in everything around us and thanking Him for it. If they see that God is faithful would they not want to follow Him more?
I have been struggling with my oldest son and him having a thankful heart. Today, God asked me, does he see that you have a thankful heart? He responds according to the Godward orientation of his heart. What is the orientation of my heart? God says in everything we do and throughout our day to pray without ceasing. I need to include my children in this. If I can do this with my children and help them see and do this as well at such a young age. Their walk with God and the possibilities are endless.
Children hear everything
Children see everything
How do we react to others in family life? What is the structure of my family life? We often learn from watching our parents. This made me think of a talk I heard recently by Debra Bell, and what she had to say about God’s design. God designed us to learn and He designed the family as a place for our children to learn. I asked myself these questions. Do I respect my parents in front of my children? Do I respect my husband in front of my children? Do I show my children the joy and love of marriage? Do they see that God is first in my life? Do they see that their father is the head of the household? Do they see that God is the authority over my life and that his authority is one of love?
It is intriguing for me to look at my children as they are now and their attitudes, personalities, needs, etc; and apply those to if they were to be married now or going to be soon. Would they make a good spouse? Do you know that marriage is one of the hardest and also one of the most rewarding times of my life. In shepherding my child’s heart and in showing them the creator; one of their testimonies is to their spouse, and I want them to be a benefit and a blessing.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy,
which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world
rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8
I know that I fall prey to human traditions in raising my children. The main focus of this book by Ted Tripp is that the only true guide book and guide that you need is God and his word. With that being said, God uses people and I have found this book is as much for me then it is for my children. It has really caused me to look at my heart, walk with God, marriage, etc,. How do my children see me in my day to day actions? How do they see me react to situations? God has used Ted Tripp to write this book and I am grateful that he did.
In my conclusion for Chapter 2 of Shepherding a Child’s Heart I would like to restate something Tripp said, “If your child knows and loves God, if your child has embraced the fact that knowing God can enable him to know peace in any circumstance, then he/she will respond constructively to your shaping efforts.
So, my question to myself and you is… Does my child see that I have embraced knowing God and that I have realized that through faith I can know peace within any circumstance?
~thank you Amanda @ The Pelsersfor hosting this heart shaping book club. Please everyone go and check out Amanda’s take on the chapters and see the other bloggers that have also linked up and posted as well.
Till next time and Ch:3 of, “Shepherding a Child’s Heart” by Ted Tripp.