Where to begin?

Posted on December 30, 2007 · Posted in Weblogs

This
blog is about you, your children, and God.

Far
too little is written about your children from a biblical perspective. There is
much written from man’s perspective. There are anecdotes and hand-me-down
intuitions too numerous to count. In
1995, Shepherding a Child’s Heart entered
the discussion about raising children. What distinguished this book from others
at that time is that it presented a comprehensive view of raising children from
a biblical viewpoint. The truths
presented in Shepherding frame the
discussions about rearing children in a biblical light. This biblical light
focused upon recognizing the importance of the heart. Behavior can be manipulated, contrived and
deceptive. Underneath behavior lies the heart. When the heart is addressed, the frustration of dealing only with
behavior is abated. This approach struck
a chord with Christian parents who wanted to hear something fresh and
encouraging about training their children.

Sach200515in
This
chord still resonates with God’s people because it is a timeless chord. So, as
we begin this journey into the blogosphere, our reference point will be these
same truths. We begin with revisiting
some of the crucial applications from Shepherding
a Child’s Heart
.

2008

As
2008 is upon us, consider what will make this year different from last year. How did last year impact what will happen
this new year?  Take a few moments to reflect
on the major events in your family’s life in 2007. Consider these events, not only from your
perspective as a parent, but also from the perspective of your children. The death of a goldfish may seem
inconsequential to you, but it may have made a huge difference to a young
child. Such events, their impact upon your life, and your family’s reactions to
these events form the content of Chapter 2 in Shepherding a Child’s Heart. These events, some seemingly
immeasurable in their impact on your family, all flow from the providential
hand of God. How you and your children respond to these events will shape your
lives for years to come.

This
chapter on shaping influences is only 7 pages long. However, its impact must
not be missed. Tedd reminds you that shaping influences are important. For
example, has your child had a hard time at school this past year? Has he been
taunted or struggled in class? Or perhaps, has he been late frequently because
you have been late getting him to school? Has he been happy, or has he been
disinterested in school? As you can see,
these few questions barely scratch the surface of the shaping influences that have
impacted your child’s life. As you enter 2008 take stock of the shaping
influences that occurred in your family in 2007. How does God want you to respond
to these? These influences will have differing impacts on each member of your
family. What is important is that you seek God to help you understand how these
events are shaping your children and their understanding of God. This can help you begin 2008 with an informed
understanding of the day-to-day issues of your children’s lives.

Shaping
influences can also can come in the form of more ordinary events. For example,
very young children learn much from events that you as a parent may not give
much thought to. How do you respond to a loud thunderclap? Do you respond with
fear and a start? Your toddlers likely will respond the same way. Yet this powerful explosion of sound is an
opportunity to shape your child’s understanding of God. Psalm 29 speaks of the voice of God being
heard in bolts of lightning and thunder. So even though thunder is often
unsettling and fearsome, you can quickly remark on just how powerful and
wonderful God is. This is an opportunity to teach that God is someone who must
be reckoned with. Thunder can be a shaping influence that leads to awe of God.

As
you consider these shaping influences, why not take a moment to briefly comment
about them so that other readers can benefit as well?

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