Shepherding Ch.3: Your Child’s Development: Godward Orientation

October 24, 2007

worship.jpg“Everyone is esentially religious. Children are worshipers. Either they worship Jehovah or idols. They are never neutral.” (Tripp, 19)

Ouch, Dr. Tripp. If you didn’t notice, Tripp states that children (and adults) inherently worship someone or something. And if they are not worshiping God, then who or what are they worshiping?

Building upon Romans 1:18-19, Tripp states, “Your children either respond to God by faith or they suppress the truth in unrighteousness. If they respond to God by faith, they find fulfillment in knowing and serving God. If they suppress the truth in unrighteousness, they will ultimately worship and serve the creation rather than the Creator.” (Tripp, 19-20). It is in this sense that Tripp is using the phrase, “Godward Orientation.”

All people are made in the image of God, therefore all people are designed with a orinatation for worship. Therefore, our children will either worship God or they will commit idolatry. Children are sinners. They are born with sinful heart.

“Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5) The Bible teaches that man sins because he is a sinner. Your children are never morally neutral, not even from the womb.

Since children, as well as adults, can never be neutral in their worship, the heart decides who the person will worship. Therefore, parenting, as Tripp says,

“is not just providing good input. It is not just creating a constructive home atmoshphere and positive interaction between a child and his parent. There is another dimension. the child is interacting with the living God. He is either worshiping and serving and growing in understanding of the implications of who God is, or he is seeking to make sense of live without a relationship with God.” (Tripp, 21).

Tripp then staes, “Most parenting books are written to help you do the best possible job of providing constructive shaping influences for your child…tips, ideas…I am not only setting forth some ideas about biblical structures for life, but also approaches to shepherding a child by reaching his heart.” (Tripp, 22).

Here are some questions to mediate on from this groundbreaking chapter:

1. How can you design winsome and attractive ways of challenging the idolatry you may see within your child?

2. How can you make your focus in correction the deeper issues of Godward orientation? How can you help your child see how he is investing himself in things that cannt satisfy?


One Response to “Shepherding Ch.3: Your Child’s Development: Godward Orientation”

  1. Rita Says:

    I wouuld like to use the photo on this story Worship – with the person with arms outstretched, for a powerpoint presentation for WYD – I will be using the powerpoint with children, and young people in schools.

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