Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Are We Reaching the Heart?

Matt and I have been slowly reading through the book "Shepherding Your Child's Heart" by Tedd Tripp. It is a classic book on child rearing from a christian perspective. So you can imagine my excitement when I heard Tedd and Margie Tripp interviewed on this week. Here are some of the points they went through on the broadcast. I would say there is some real food for thought here.

Ten Truths for Parents to Impress on Their Children

Editor’s Note: On the September 29, 2010, FamilyLife Today broadcast, “Addressing the Heart,” host Dennis Rainey promises the following list of truths and description of the heart from Tedd and Margy Tripp’s book Instructing a Child’s Heart.

  • Life does not consist in the abundance of possessions. It is not found in new jeans, a new iPod, a car, one’s abilities, or exciting, heart-pounding experiences.
  • We need to walk in wisdom, submit to the goodness of God’s way, and turn away from our own agendas.
  • A life of prayer and godly counsel is our desire.
  • Choices that are principled rather than popular, foregoing immediate gratification for the sake of eternal reward, are the goal.
  • God’s authority structures are a blessing. For an eight-year-old this means I can trust Mom’s decision that I need an eight o’clock bedtime. Demanding my own way when I still need parental guidance short-circuits God’s training process.
  • Loving parents are a blessing from God. Loyalty to parental instruction is an expression of gratitude to God. The majority culture offers a fraudulent counterfeit by encouraging young people to be loyal to their peers rather than their parents.
  • The heart is the wellspring of life. The things children give their hearts to the hopes, ambitions, desires, dreams, joys, and concerns will set the course of life.
  • Our hearts cannot be trusted (Jer. 17:9). Our hearts will lie to us. Children (and their parents) are easily entrapped and need to be accessible to others for counsel, instruction, and nurture.
  • Friendships are for the purpose of glorifying God, encouraging others, showing love and compassion, and gaining encouragement to do what is right.
  • There is a sowing and reaping principle in the Bible and we need to develop a harvest mentality. Children who trust and obey God find their heads crowned with wonderful blessings. Of course, this truth cuts both ways. The ten-year-old boy who is laze about his chores will reap what he is sowing because God will not be mocked.

Adjectives That Describe the Heart

The adjectives used in the Bible to describe the heart are an eye-opener. The heart is variously described as adulterous, anguished, arrogant, astray, bitter, blameless, blighted, broken, calloused, circumcised, contrite, crushed, darkened, deadened, deceitful, deluded, devoted, disloyal, envious, evil, faint, faithful, far off, fearful, foolish, grateful, happy, hard, haughty, humble, mad, malicious, obstinate, perverse, proud, pure, rebellious, rejoicing, responsive, righteous, sick, sincere, sinful, steadfast, troubled, unfeeling, uncircumcised, upright, unsearchable, weary, wicked, wise, and wounded.

Excerpted from pages 41-42 and page 53 of Instructing a Child’s Heart by Tedd and Margy Tripp. Published by Shepherd Press. © 2008 by Tedd Tripp and Margy Tripp.


  1. I really want to read that book next! We have been memorizing Proverbs 4:23 this week. "Above all else guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life." I have been praying a lot and asking God to show me how to teach my children obedience from the heart and not just the flesh so that ultimately they will obey God.

  2. Julia,
    I'm always so encouraged by you. You are a great mother!