Margy Tripp

5 posts

Slow Down and Listen

Foolish responses without listening will make your children disinterested in speaking with you. They will take their conversations somewhere else where they can be heard. If your children are saying “You never listen to me,” it is because they feel you never listen to them. Slow down and listen. There is a perceptive insight in Proverbs 20:5: “The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.” There is more depth in your children than you might imagine. Drawing those deep waters out requires patience and great skill. It also requires being sensitive to the right moment. There are times when children are talkative and times when you cannot pry anything from them […]

Discipline: Communication and Prayer

Dialogue One of the most destructive aspects of ungodly discipline and correction is the lack of godly dialogue. God has wonderfully provided all the apparatus for meaningful communication with one another. Yet the most life shaping opportunities parents have in their children’s lives are often one-sided. Monologue is not godly communication. Long speeches that try to strong-arm our children with arguments, threats, warnings, and predictions will not change their hearts. It will harden their hearts. All of our conversation with our children should afford them an opportunity to respond—not as peers, but as children interacting with the direction and instruction of parents. We should encourage children to respectfully respond in conversation to help us understand how they are feeling, thinking, […]

From the Archives: Keeping the Gospel Central

Shaming your children is hypocritical. That, of course, is where you will always end up when you are trying to manipulate behavior. If, however, you deal with the heart, you will no longer be hypocritically distanced from your child. You can stand in solidarity with him and his struggles with selfishness. You can put your arm around him and say, “I understand what you are experiencing. I understand selfishness. I have my own struggles with being selfish.” Please note: You are not excusing selfishness as okay since you are selfish too. Rather, you are simply identifying with this common struggle with sin. Not only do you understand the struggle, you know where to go with your struggles with selfishness. You […]

Love for God is the Foundation for Parenting

Our love for God is the foundation for anything we have to say. We cannot impress our children with the fame of God’s name if we are not impressed with him ourselves. If the truths about God’s sovereign power and incredible mercy have melted our hearts and produced a profound love for God, we will impress our children with his awesome glory. If God’s Word is dear to us, it will be important to our children. We must be dazzled by God. We cannot give away what we don’t have. Psalm 34 is an excellent commentary on this point. “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him” (Ps. 34:8). Here is […]

Your Children, Scripture, and Everyday Life

Apply Scripture to Everyday Life Children need instruction to apply Scripture to issues of authority, obedience, conflict resolution, and God-given roles in relationships. Everyday life affords scores of opportunities to connect Scripture to life—from lost book-bags to broken friendships and poor test grades. Scores of training opportunities evaporate without notice as we hurry through our days thinking that devotional time with our children is enough. Our responses to the circumstances and crises of everyday life make our theology real. Bible stories glow with illustrations of children whose knowledge of Scripture translated into obedient, bold action. David’s words to Saul sound naïve and childish in the face of the Philistine army and the terrifying threats of Goliath, “Let no one lose […]