As we move into Chapter 7 of the Shepherding a Child’s Heart Book Study, we begin to get into more practical steps in coming up with Biblical methods that help us achieve the Biblical goals we talked about in previous chapters. “Biblical goals require a biblical approach – only godly methodology will bring glory to God.”
As before, in order to figure out what Biblical methods are, we must first discard the unbiblical methods. The unbiblical methods, Tripp says, have “one thing in common: The human mind is the standard.” Some use unbiblical methods such as manipulation, permissiveness, or even abuse because their parents used these methods and they “didn’t turn out so bad.” But of course this is using human logic and methods, not Biblical ones. Others turn to pop psychology, rewards or bribes, emotional manipulation, punitive correction, or some mish-mash of methods with no consistency at all. These methods “lead to superficial parenting, rather than shepherding the hearts of our children. They only address behavior. Hence, they miss the point of biblical discipline.…If you address the heart biblically, the behavior will be impacted.”
The behavior of our children is not the problem – the root issue is their hearts.
While only God can change the heart, we must help our children see the attitudes of their hearts that are driving the behavior they exhibit. If they are arguing and fighting, is it selfishness that they are really exhibiting? Pride? Anger? Jealousy?
This can be difficult to do; the next few chapters will help as we find Biblical methods to embrace.