Shepherding Ch.8: Embracing Biblical Methods – Communication

December 5, 2007

256715_lil_dreamer.jpgThe last few chapters of Tedd Tripp’s book, Shepherding a Child’s Heart, have dealt with un-biblical forms of parenting. Now, he turns his attention to one of two biblical forms: Communication.

Tripp states, “Methods and goals should be complementary. You want your child to live for the glory of God. You want your child to realize that life worth living is life lived under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Your methods must show submission to that same Lord. Methods designed to produce well-adjusted and successful children won’t work because your goal is not simply success and good adjustment.” (Tripp, 71).

Tripp then reveals the two elements of a biblical approach to parenting that must be weaved 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.

Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you punish him with the rod,
he will not die.
Punish him with the rod
and save his soul from death.

My son, if you heart is wise,
then my heart will be glad;
my inmost being will rejoice
when your lips speak what is right.

Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD.

There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.

Listen, my son, and be wise,
and keep your heart on the right path.”

(Proverbs 23:13-19)

The key point that Tripp makes in regards to communication is that communication is dialogue, not monologue. We should talk with our children not to our children.

The 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. Since the Scripture says that it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks, you must engage your children to understand what is going on inside.” (Tripp, 73-74)

Tripp states, “your communication objective can be stated in several simple propositions.

1. The behavior you see is a reflection of the abundance of your child’s heart.

2. You want to understand the specific content of the abundance of his heart.

3. The internal issues of the heart are of greater import than the specifics of behavior, since they drive behavior.

The next chapter turns to the type of communication to use in disciplining your children.

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