I've been re-reading Shepherding a Child's Heart as part of discussion for our school's once-a-month fellowship for moms. So many familiar truths, yet such needed reminders. To shepherding a child's heart is an ever work in progress...for both child and parent. It's really not enough for us to read a book, take a class, or join a group, one time in our lives, and expect lasting consistency in our mindset and practice. As parenting is a refining work that shapes us as parents, and conforms our hearts closer to the Shepherd as well, we must be on guard and reminded daily through God's word and solid resources. Here are some reminders for me (and hopefully for you!) today:
...if you teach your child to obey and to perform for approval from you and from others, you presnet an unbiblical objective....People will respond well to a child who obeys, but you cannot make that secondary benefit of obedience the primary reason for obeying.
Superficial parenting that never addresses the heart biblically produces superficial children who do not understand what makes them tick. They must be trained to understand and interpret their behavior in terms of heart motivation.
The focal point is the heart of the child that is called to submission to God's authority. The goal of correction is not simply to modify behavior, but to bring the child to sweet, harmonious, and humble heart submission to God's will that he obey Mom and Dad. The heart is the battleground.
The power and grace of the gospel is most deeply understood, not by those who never face their biblical duties, but by those who do.
There is only one obedient response...If you accept any other response, you are training your children to disobey.
Respectful teenagers are developed when they are 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5...
Seeking forgiveness is not saying, "I am sorry that I got mad at you and yelled, but when you do that..." Seeking forgiveness is saying, "I am sorry. I sinned against you. I was mad. I threw a temper fit. There is no justification for behavior like that. Please forgive me. When ou give reasons for your sin, you are not asking forgiveness, you are simply justifying your sin.
May God give us diligence and perseverance in our pursuit of the high calling of parenting today!