I am a voracious reader; I consume books quite quickly. I’m going to try to review what I read more often, and not just the books I receive for free in exchange for reviewing them. I’m a pretty eclectic reader, so you’ll find lots of different kinds of books, if I can actually keep up with what I’m reading.
I just finished Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Ted Tripp. It is fantastic! There are many parenting books out there, and many different methods that claim to be the best way to raise your child. This book is not a method, but a biblical approach to parenting. I would say that Tripp’s main point is that “The heart is the wellspring of life. Therefore, parenting is concerned with shepherding the heart. You must learn to work from the behavior you see, back to the heart, exposing heart issues for your children. In short, you must learn to engage them, not just reprove them. Help them see the ways that they are trying to slake their souls’ thirst with that which cannot satisfy. You must help your kids gain a clear focus on the cross of Christ.”
The first few chapters were very convicting to me, as a person with a sinful heart myself. If I’m going to address Luke’s heart when I’m training and disciplining him, I have to have examined my own heart beforehand. And my heart is dreadfully wicked; I don’t like to look there. Tripp’s writing had me examining authority in parenting, my goals for Luke and our family, the methods used to produce those goals, and Christ-centered communication in the family. While I was convicted, I was also encouraged that, through the help of the Spirit and God’s grace, my wicked heart can be cleansed and this weak vessel can be used to raise up a man who loves the Lord.
The second section of the book takes the reader through the different stages of childhood, setting forth biblical goals for each stage and providing insightful, gospel-centered advice for accomplishing them.
I wholeheartedly recommend Shepherding a Child’s Heart to all parents, and especially my friends who are just beginning their families. I’m so thankful that the Lord led me to this book when Luke is still little.