Shepherding Ch.6: Reworking Your Goals

November 5, 2007

little-league.jpgIn chapter six, Tripp turns to rethinking the unbiblical goals that were mentioned in chapter five. Word of warning: you, like me, will probably be convicted by these.

On Developing Special Skills:

“What is the problem with having your children involved in a broad range of activities? Many parents who would never allow their children to attend public school will send them to dance classes. They will refuse to have them influenced by secular humanism in school, but will expose them to unbiblical ideas of beauty in dance class.

When I ask parents why they put their children in these classes, they explain that it has helped their child’s sense of self-worth. Are there any passages tht make the development of self-worth a biblically mandated goal? Shouldn’t we be more concerned with an accurate sense of self? Is it biblical to build self-worth on a child’s capacity to develop a physical skill? Are we not encouraging pride that comes from the capacity to perform? Most coaches do not teach the Little Leaguer who hits a home run to give thanks to God for the timing and coordination necessary to perform such a complex feat.

Many of these activities teach your children to trust in themselves, when the Scripture says that those who trust in themselves are fools whose hearts turn from God. The self-love and self-trust our culture proffers always turns the heart away from God.” (Tripp, 50).

Thus, the danger in unbiblical goals.

On saved children:

“Let’s rethink this matter of getting your children saved. Perhaps one of the problems with this perspective is that it looks for a major spiritual event of salvation and misses the spiritual process of nurturing your children. It is our task to faithfully teach our children the ways of God…what your children need is spiritual nurture.” (Tripp, 52).

On behaved children:

“What about the earlier example of raising behaved children? You cannot use Miss Manners’ approach because it is simply an elaborate means of pleasant social manipulation. In a biblical vision, manners are an expression and application of the duty of loving my neighbor as myself…waiting to eat until all are served is not just an empty social convention; it is a way of showing consideration for those around you.” (Tripp, 54).

Finally, Tripp gives his mandate for your ultimate goal in parenting:

“Teaching your children to live for the glory of God must be your overarching objective. You must teach your children that for them, as for all of mankind, life is found in knowing and serving the true and living God. The only worthy goal for life is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” (Tripp, 56.)

Here are some questions to ponder from this chapter:

1. How do you define succes? How would your child complete this sentence? “What Mom and Dad want for me is …”

2. What are the subtle ways you are tempted to teach your children to function in the society on its terms?

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