Shepherding Chapter 12: Embracing Biblical Methods – Appeal to the Conscience

January 15, 2008

erebus-cross.jpg“The rod, however, is not the only instrument of training.” (Tripp, 116). Tripp states, “there is another. It is appeal to the conscience. Earnest entreaty fills the chapter of Proverbs:

“Don’t let your heart envy sinners…” (23:17)

“…keep your heart on the right path…” (v.19)

“Listen to your father, who gave you life…” (v.22)

“Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.” (v.23)

“My son, give me your heart…” (v.26)

Tripp states, “Is Solomon soft on the rod? No! But he realizes the limitation of the rod. He knows that the rod gets the attention, but the conscience must be plowed up and planted with the truth of God’s ways.” (Tripp, 116).

I love that Tripp places a ton of emphasis on communication to supplement the usage of the rod. Tripp then states, “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. How is that accomplished? You must address the heart as the fountain of behavior, and the conscience as the God-given judge of right and wrong. The cross of Christ must be the central focus of your childrearing.”

This is where I absolutely love Tripp’s parenting philosophy. What is our goal as parents? I do not believe our goal as parents is obedience. I do not believe that our goal is behavior modification. I do not believe our goal is to have “clean cut” kids. I agree with Tripp that our ultimate goal in childrearing should be to bring children to a knowledge that they are sinners and that Christ has died for them. We must keep the focus on the cross of Christ.

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