Monday, December 27, 2010

Pastor's Bookshelf: Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp

Tedd Tripp doesn't lay out some new method of parenting, he doesn't encourage parents to adopt his methodology of parenting, he even openly admits short-comings that he and his wife had as parents.  What he does is pull out sound Biblical principles to child raising.  The overall theme is that behavioral correction is not the end goal in parenting.  The goal is orienting your child towards the Gospel and teaching them the truth of God's Word from birth so that they know truth from lie as they grow.  I was challenged, convicted, encouraged, and overall just blown away.  We have put into practice many of the Biblical principles that he outlines in the book and have already noticed a change in the goals and expectations we set for our children.  Godly child discipline always points your child towards the saving power of the Gospel of Grace in Jesus Christ alone.

I highly recommend this book for parents with children of any age.  He offers encouragement for the new parent who is a bit scared and overwhelmed by the immense responsibility of raising a child as well as those parents who perhaps didn't raise their child in an always godly fashion and now the teen is rebelling more and more.

Read this, as any theological book, with Bible in hand.  Do the work of a Berean (Acts 17:11) and examine the Scriptures to see if what Tedd Tripp says is fact.  I believe you will find, as I did, that it is.  The absolute best thing about this book is the fact that it points parents to the Word of God for their principles of how to steward the amazing gift of the children that God has given them.


  1. My wife had to read this for one of her seminary classes on the Christian family. The prof said it was one of the best books on child rearing to come out in the last 20-30 years. She thought it was excellent.

  2. Just one other note on this. If you go to Amazon or various other sites that sell the book and allow reviews or comments, you'll find a segment of people who pan the book due to the fact that it advocates spanking or corporal punishment and that is pretty much their sole basis for dismissing the book. They even cite the differences of the OT and NT and living under law/punishment and grace/forgiveness to suggest that physical discipline is outmoded.

    Without trying to stir up a debate here, I'll simply note, as a parent of two grown sons and an observer of families through 50+ years of life, that applying the board of education to the seat of higher learning does, indeed, have its value. Of course, you have to do it with the right attitude and not in an abusive way. However, I have seen way too many parents who are either ignorant or unwilling on how to control, correct and guide their children and they are paying a dear price for their lack of engagement in the process of turning the hearts of their kids.

    I'm grateful our two sons have grown up with a disciplined life and are doing well as adults. They might suggest that we could have dialed it back a notch on the "spanking spoon" and maybe we could/should have at points. However, we made it our intention to control our children and not vice versa.

    We had read Richard Fugate's "What the Bible Says about Child Training" many years back and that helped plant the seed of proactive discipline in our minds. I think Tripp's book is a good read for the current generation of parents - and even grandparents.