Shepherding Ch.5: Examining Your Goals

November 1, 2007

300px-children-education.jpgWhat is your goal for your children in your parenting? Have you ever asked yourself that question before? Whether or not you know it, your actions express visibly your goals for parenting. In this chapter Tripp examines biblical as well as unbibilical goals for parenting.

“Parents want children to be successful so they can ‘do well’ and live happy, comfortable lives. This wish for success has a different shape and definition for different people, but every parent wnats successful, happy children. We want them to have adult lives filled with opportunity and unfettered by problems. However we define success, we wish it for our children. We are well aware that their upbringing has much to do with future success.

There are scores of ways parents try to produce this success. Helping parents produce successful children is a growth industry…” (Tripp, 40).

Tripp then outlines seven of what he calls unbiblical goals

1. Developing Social Skills – sports, art, etc.

2. Developing the psyche – including the development of the unbibilcal aspect of self-esteem

3. Getting your child saved – Just saying the “sinner’s prayer” is not enough

4. Family Worship – literally worshipping the family is idolatrous.

5. Having well behaved children – Tripp says this is, “a great secondary benefit of biblical childrearing but an unworthy goal in itself.”

6. Giving them a good education – Should our only goal be that our children achieve academically?

7. Having complete control – Controlling your children’s every move is not what God has designed parents to do.

While these goals are not necessarily bad, they are not the primary goals that you should have for your children. The Westminister Shorter Catechism states:

Q: What is the chief end of man?
A: Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.

Tripp asks, “Is there any other goal that is worthy?” Instead of teaching our children to glorify God in all that they do, we are teaching our 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 soul’s 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 their delight in possessions. Then we hope tht somewhere down the line they will see a life worth living is found only in knowing and serving God.” (Tripp, 45)

In the next chapter, Tripp rethinks these goals in light of the goal of man: to glorify God.


One Response to “Shepherding Ch.5: Examining Your Goals”

  1. Emily Wallace Says:

    Great post!

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