Thursday, October 22, 2009

Shepherding a Child's Heart (Tedd Trip)-Part 2

Here it is the part 2 of the book.
1. Infancy to Childhood: Training Objectives
The first stage of development, infancy to childhood, encompasses the period from birth to age four or five. This period can be described in a single word – change. With such dramatic changes over a short time, it is easy to lose focus. The most important lesson for the child to learn in this period is that HE IS AN INDIVIDUAL UNDER AUTHORITY.
In Ephesians 6:1-3, God has drawn a circle of great blessing. Submission to parents means HONORING and OBEYING. Within that circle things will go well and they will enjoy long lives. Honoring parents means to treat them with respect and esteem because of their position of authority. It is honoring them because of their role of authority. Obedience is the willing submission of one person to the authority of another without challenge, without excuse, and without delay.

2. Infancy to Childhood: Training Procedures
When does a child need a spanking? When you have given a directive that he has heard and is within his capacity to understand, and he has not obeyed without challenge, without excuse or without delay, he needs a spanking. If you fail to spank, you fail to take God’s Word seriously.
The following procedure can provide discipline that preserves the child’s dignity: (1) Take your child to a private place where he can be spoken with in privacy, (2) Tell him specifically what he has done or failed to do, (3) Secure an acknowledgement from the child of what he has done, (4) Remind him that the function of the spanking is not venting your frustration or because you are angry, but to restore him to the place in which God has promised blessing, (5) Tell the child how many swats he will receive, (6) Remove his drawer so that the spanking is not lost in the padding of his pants, (7) After you have spanked, take the child up on your lap and hug him, telling how much you love him, how much it grieves you to spank him, and how you hope that it will not be necessary again.

3. Childhood: Training Objectives
The big issue during these middle years is character. Your child’s character must be developed in several areas. In stage one the focus was obedience. Now in the stage two the focus was character. In this stage, the child should learn about his relationship with God, himself, and others. Once or twice a year, you and your spouse should sit down and take stock of your children about their relationship. Develop some strategy for dealing with the areas of concern.

4. Childhood: Training Procedures
Whatever motivates behavior trains the heart. The temptation is to focus on behavior. Behavior is a manifestation of what is going on inside. Your task is to help them understand the “overflow of the heart” aspect of their behavior. Your children need heart change. Change in the heart begins with conviction of sin. Conviction of sin comes through the conscience. You must get to the root issues by dealing with the conscience. You must be a person of long-term vision. You must see your children’s need for shepherding, not simply in terms of the here and now, but in terms of long-range vision.

5. Teenagers: Training Objectives
The benchmarks for this period of life are the onset of puberty and the time when the child leaves home to establish a home of his own. The teen years are years of monumental insecurity. The youth is neither a child nor an adult. He is unsure about how to act. Teens feel vulnerable about everything. They worry about their appearance.
The teenage years are often years of rebellion. Proverbs 1:7-19 furnishes you with such direction about parenting goals in this period of life. Three foundations of life in this passage: The fear of the Lord (v. 7), adherence to parental instruction (vv. 8-9), and disassociation from the wicked (vv. 10-19).
I am appaleled at the skepticism people express about helping teenagers see the importance of the fear of God. It is too often assumed that young people cannot be driven by godly motives. The teen who understands the fear of God will be delivered from danger. He will possess wisdom. He will grow in the knowledge of God.
Proverbs asserts that children will be enriched and greatly benefited by adherence to the values and instruction of their parents. There is no one who will be more honest or more tender than their own parents.
The call to association with the wicked comes to our kids. We must work to make home an attractive place to be. Home should be the shelter where the teen is understood and loved, where he is encouraged and shown the paths of life.

6. Teenagers: Training Procedures
Internalization of the gospel is the process of your children embracing the things of God as their own living faith. Your wish during this period is to see your children develop autonomous identities as persons under God. It is obvious that internalizing the gospel requires the work of the Holy Spirit in the child. All the reason for shepherding children's hearts is to see them come to know God. Your role during this period is a shepherding role of encouraign the child and seeking to influence him in the process of internalizing the gospel.
Teenagers are capable of colossal blunders. There is an enormous gap between the teen's desire to be autonomous and his understadning of life. What they need is parental interaction that is full of hope and courage when they made a mistake. The Proverbs tell us that pleasant words promote instruction. (Proverbs 16:21)
A good metaphor for the parent and teenage child relationship is the relationship adults would have with one another: waiting for the right time, deal with broad themes, and allowing room for disagreement.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Shepherding a Child’s Heart (Tedd Trip) - Part 1

This is a book summary of a wonderful book titled Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Trip. I wrote it in two parts. It is indeed a very helpful book which inspire me not only to teach but shepherd a child's heart. PART 1: FOUNDATIONS FOR BIBLICAL CHILDREARING
1. Getting to the Heart of Behavior
The Scripture teaches that the heart is the control center for life. A person’s life is reflection of his heart. Proverbs 4:23 states it like this: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” The heart determines behavior. What you say and do expresses the orientation of your heart.

2. Your Child’s Development: Shaping Influences
Shaping influences are those events and circumstances in a child’s developmental years that prove to be catalysts for making him the person he is. But the shaping is not automatic; the ways he responds to these events and circumstances determine the effect they have upon him.
The person your child becomes is a product of two things: his life experience and how he interacts with that experience. Shaping influences are: structure of family life, family values, family roles, and family response to failure, family history, and family conflict resolution.
Two mistakes are made in interacting with the shaping influences of life. First mistake is seeing shaping influences deterministically. Second mistake is denial. Neither denial nor determinism is correct. You need to understand these shaping influences biblically.

3. Your Child’s Development: God ward Orientation
Godward orientation is like the set of the sail in a child’s life. Whatever the shaping influences of life, it is the child’s Godward orientation that determines his response to those shaping influences.
Everyone is essentially religious. Children are worshipers. Either they worship Jehovah or idols. They are never neutral. Your children filter the experiences of life through a religious grid.
Parenting is not just providing good input. It is not just creating a constructive home atmosphere and positive interaction between a child and his parent. There is another dimension. The child is interacting with the living God.
There are two issues that feed into the persons your children become: 1) the shaping influences of life, and 2) their Godward orientation. Therefore, your parenting must be addressed to both of these issues.

4. You’re in Charge
Our culture does not like authority. It is not just that we don’t like to be under authority, we don’t like being authorities. One of the places where this is most clearly seen is in our discomfort with authority in the home. We need a biblical understanding of authority. Questions abound. What is the nature of the parent’s authority over a child? Is it absolute or relative? If you don’t answer questions such as these, you will be tentative and insecure in discharging your duty to God and to your children.
As a parent, you have authority because God calls you to be an authority in your child’s life. You have the authority to act on behalf of God. You act at his command. You may not try to shape the lives of your children as pleases you, but as pleases him. Deuteronomy 6 underscores this view of parental responsibility.
Clear thinking about the function of discipline illustrates the importance of seeing yourself as God’s agent, called by God to be in charge. Discipline’s dimensions are not only corrective (not punitive), but also an expression of love. Your objective in discipline is to move toward your children, not against them.

5. Examining Your Goals
There are objectives that direct our choices as we raise our children. Some folks can articulate their goals. Other goals may be implied by the choices parents make. Be careful with unbiblical goals. Parents’ goals in influencing their children could be developing special skills, psychological adjustment, or saved children. Others will think about family worship, well behaved children, good education and control.
What general biblical objectives will guide and focus your view of life and therefore your training of your children? What is a worthy biblical goal? The familiar question of the Shorter Catechism answers these questions. What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever. You must equip your children to function in a culture that has abandoned the knowledge of God. Psalms 36 asserts that it is only in his light that we see light.

6. Reworking Your Goals
A biblical worldview dictates that you should teach your children to exercise and care for their bodies as an expression of stewardship for God’s gifts. Abilities should be developed because God has given the stewardship of talents and special capacities.
In a biblical vision, you should instruct your children to entrust themselves to God in the face of unfair treatment. You should teach them the principles of the scripture.
Our children need is spiritual nurture. They need to be taught the ways of God. They need to be instructed in the character of God so that they can learn a proper fear of God. They need to trust him not only for salvation, but for daily living. Repentance and faith are not acts performed one time to become a Christian. They are attitudes of the heart toward us and our sin. Faith is not just the way to get saved; it is the lifeline of Christian living.

7. Discarding Unbiblical Methods

Unbiblical approaches come to us in many ways. Books and magazines regularly address childrearing. It’s all about methodology how to teach and talk to child. They can be using bribery, behavior modification, emotionalism, punitive correction, or erratic eclecticism.
They lead to superficial parenting, rather than shepherding the hearts of our children. They only address behavior. Hence, they miss the point of biblical discipline. Biblical discipline addresses behavior through addressing the heart. Remember, the heart determines behavior. If you address the heart biblically, the behavior will be impacted. Superficial parenting that never addresses the heart biblically produces superficial children who do not understand what makes them tick. They must be trained to understand and interpret their behavior in terms of heart motivation.

8. Embracing Biblical Methods: Communication
Methods and goals should be complementary. You want your child to live for the glory of God. Your methods must show submission to the same Lord. A biblical approach to children involves two elements that you weave together. One element is rich, full communication. The other is the rod. In the book of Proverbs we find these two methods side by side. (Proverbs 23:13-19, 22, 26)
Communication is dialogue, not monologue. It is not only the ability to talk, but also the ability to listen. The finest art of communication is not learning how to express your thoughts. It is learning how to draw out the thoughts of another.
Your first objective in correction must not be to tell your children how you feel about what they have done or said. You must try to understand what is going on inside them. What is important in correction is not venting your feelings, anger or hurt; it, rather, understands the nature of the struggle that your child is having.
You want to understand your child’s inner struggles. You need to look at the world through his or her eyes. This will enable you to know what aspects of the life-giving message of the gospel are appropriate for this conversation. If you are going to understand and helping your child to understand himself, there are skills you must develop. You must learn to help your children to express themselves. You must learn to facilitate conversation.

9. Embracing Biblical Methods: Types of Communication
Communication must be multifaceted and richly textured. It must include encouragement, correction, rebuke, entreaty, instruction, warning, teaching, and prayer. All of these must be part of your interaction with your children.
Children need communication designed to inspire and fill with hope and courage (encouragement). Sometimes a child needs to be brought into conformity with a standard (correction). A rebuke censures behavior. Sometimes a child must experience your sense of alarm, shock, and dismay at what he has done or said. Entreaty is communication that is earnest and intense. It involves pleading, soliciting, urging, and even begging.
Instruction is the process of providing a lesson, a precept, or information that will help your children to understand their world. Because your children’s lives are fraught with danger, warnings put us on guard regarding a probable danger. A warning is merciful speech. Teaching is the process of imparting knowledge. It is causing someone to know something. Prayer is not communication with the child but with God. It is nevertheless and essential element of communication between the parent and the child.

10. Embracing Biblical Methods: A Life of Communication
Communication not only disciplines, it also disciples. It shepherds your children in the ways of God. I have used the phrase “shepherding the heart” to embody the process of guiding our children. It means helping them understand themselves, God’s works, and the ways of God, how sin works in the human heart, and how the gospel comes to them at the most profound levels of human need. Shepherding the hearts of children also involves helping them understand their motivations, goals, wants, wishes, and desires.

11. Embracing Biblical Methods: The Rod
What is the nature of the child’s most basic need? If children are born ethically and morally neutral, then they do not need correction; they need direction. They do not discipline; they need instruction. Since Bible told us that children are not born morally and ethically neutral, so his problem is that he is a sinner. The rod functions in this context. It is addressed to needs within the child. In Proverbs 29:15 God says, “The rod of correction imparts wisdom…” Elsewhere, the Proverbs connect wisdom with the fear of the Lord.
The rod is a parent, in faith toward God and faithfulness toward his or her children, undertaking the responsibility of careful, timely, measured, and controlled use of physical punishment to underscore the importance of obeying God, thus rescuing the child from continuing in his foolishness until death.

12. Embracing Biblical Methods: Appeal to the Conscience
Your correction and discipline must find their mark in the conscience of your son or daughter. God has given children a reasoning capacity that distinguishes issues of right and wrong. This God-given conscience is your ally in discipline and correction. The central focus of childrearing is to bring children to a sober assessment of themselves as sinners. They must understand the mercy of God, who offered Christ as a sacrifice for sinners.