My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wow! Once again Paul Tripp hits it out of the park! This book has similar principles to his brother Tedd Tripp’s book Shepherding a Child’s Heart. It all points back to the heart. In raising and disciplining children, we are to not just focus on behavior change but heart change. Not that we are able to change a child’s heart (only God can do that), but we look beyond the behavior to see the heart of what is causing the behavior.
This book outlines 14 principles to keep in mind in the midst of parenting. I am not a parent myself, but have several close friends that are and they are in the trenches. Parenting is unbelievably hard and incredibly selfless. The first principle in the book points to this: “Nothing is more important in your life than being one of God’s tools to form a human soul.” Parenting is not meant to be done on our own, in our own wisdom and strength. God calls us to be parents with His help. He will not call us to do something that He doesn’t also help us to accomplish. “God never calls you to a task without giving you what you need to do it. He never sends you without going with you.”
I found this book encouraging, yet not holding back any punches. Since I’m not a parent, I can’t actually put these principles into practice for myself with my own children. But I would like to encourage parents to read this book and use it as a tool. We have been given mercy by God as Christians that we can now pour out on others, especially our own families. I think parents will find this book to be worthwhile and a help as they pour their lives into their kids and teach them about God.
“There is nothing more important to consistent, faithful, patient, loving, and effective parenting than to understand what God has given you in the grace of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
“God calls unable people to do important things because ultimately what he’s working on is not your immediate success, but that you would come to know him, to love him, to rest in his grace, and to live for his glory.”
“What you’re always dealing with is the need for heart change, and we simply have no power at all to change another person’s heart.”
“As a parent you’re not dealing just with bad behavior, but a condition that causes bad behavior.”
“Your children don’t so much need character management as they need worship realignment. They don’t first have a character problem; they have a worship problem that produces a character problem.”
“You are parenting a worshiper, so it’s important to remember that what rules your child’s heart will control his behavior.”
“So your hope as a parent is not found in your power, your wisdom, your character, your experience, or your success, but in this one thing alone: the presence of your Lord.”
“Parenting is about being God’s ambassadors in the lives of our children. It is about faithfully representing his message, his methods, and his character to our children.”
*I received a copy of this ebook from the publisher Crossway in exchange for my review.