Book Review: “Shepherding a Child’s Heart”

Posted on Apr 25 2013 - 10:29am by Rebekah Schrepfer

I always have my eye out for really good Christian living books, and my interests these days include Marriage, Family, Music, Children, and Youth since I deal with those things on a daily and weekly basis.  Wow! It’s tough finding any practical, conservative, biblical, how-to reading!  However, Tedd Tripp has thankfully filled some of the void.

While this book is full of practical suggestions and examples, Tripp’s main goal is to help you get to the heart of your child.  I appreciated so much his continual harkening back to Scriptures for the basis of all methods and goals used in parenting.  Tripp often reminded me that the main goal of parenting is not to develop good behavior, nor to encourage skills and talents, nor to teach the proper way to make money, nor to be emotionally balanced, nor to provide a good education, etc.  The goal is not even to get your child saved in his view! Rather, the main goal of parenting is to orient him toward God while dealing with his sin nature and thereby teach him to glorify God in his life.  Tripp spends much time developing this point.  With so much time spent on the philosophy of parenting, I wondered if it would be too much to wade through and get anything practical out of it.  But I would strongly encourage you to follow his train of thought.  I found it enjoyable to be led through the Scriptures to remind myself of the nature of a man’s (child’s) heart and God’s prescriptions to change it.

An interesting and helpful chapter dealt with spanking and all the misconceptions and controversy surrounding this biblical method of discipline.  Each chapter included an application section.  Also available are workbooks that would be an easy tool for counseling or classroom study.  The book is available in Spanish as well.

(This review first appeared in Aletheia, August 2009.)


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