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.
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.
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?