Shepherding Chapter 13: Shepherding the Heart Summarized

January 29, 2008

2.jpgChapter thirteen closes the first part of the book, entitled “Foundations for Child-Rearing.” There are six areas of summarization of Shepherding a Child’s Heart.

1. Your children are the product of two things. The first – shaping influence – is their physical makeup and their life experience. The second – Godward orientation – determines how they interact with their experience. Parenting involves (1) providing the best shaping influences you can and (2) the careful shepherding of your children’s responses to those influences.

2. The heart determines behavior. Learn, therefore, to work back from behavior to the heart. Expose heart struggles. Help your children see that they were made for a relationship with God. The thirst of the heart can be satisfied in truly knowing God.

3. You have authority because God has made you his agent. This means you are on his errand, not yours. Your task is to help your children know God and the true nature of reality. This will enable them to know themselves.

4. Since the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, you must set such a worldview before your children. You must help them learn that only in him will they find themselves.

5. Biblical goals must be accomplished through biblical methods. Therefore, you must reject the substitute methods that our culture presents.

6. God has given two methods for childrearing. They are (1) communication and (2) the rod. These methods must be woven together in your practice. Your children need to be known and understood. Thus, rich communication is necessary. They also need authority and firmness. Thus, the rod is necessary. The rod functions to underscore the importance of the things you talk about them.

In Part Two, we will apply these principles to the specifics of the childrearing through the various stages of childhood.

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