Thursday, June 2, 2011

Parental Authority

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Shepherding a Child's Heart

What is your authority role as a parent? I really thing Tedd Tripp puts it well in his book Shepherding a Child's Heart in the introduction.

He starts off by pointing out some parents don't actually want to be parents (they do it because they "should") and some parents think quality time is good enough (it isn't).

Some of these parents, along with others who love being parents and spend lots of quantity time with their children, "live in mortal fear of adolescence. Parents of teens continually remind them their day is coming" (page xviii). Sidebar, I remember when I was 11-12 and people would ask me constantly if I was going to be a good teenager or not. Or they would comment on what a great teenager they thought I would be. I mean, constantly. I was so confused by it all. Why wouldn't I be a good teenager? And I think I was an awesome teenager, for the record.

We don't need to fear "the teenage years." The trick is figuring out the right balance for authority. We should be kind. We should look to Christ as the ultimate example of how to be an authority. Christ served those he was in authority over, and He was willing to lay His life down.

We, as parents, have a charge to be an authority for our own children. Now for one of my favorite points in the entire book:

"You must require obedience of your children because they are called by God to obey and honor you. You must exercise authority, not as a cruel taskmaster, but as one who truly loves them" (page xx).

I had never thought of teaching children to obey in that light before. Teach them to obey because they are commanded to obey. I think that is a great thing to keep in mind as we are training our children. 

We will talk more about this idea of you having authority later as we discuss this book. For now, focus on the idea of you having authority over your children and looking to the ultimate example of that. Lead like Christ lead. Also, teach your children to obey in order to help them fulfill their commandments. Let's parent by love, not fear.

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Val said...

I'm surprised you didn't have any comments on the chapter discussing spanking of children. It was for that chapter alone I tossed this book in the "done" pile. God commanding discipline through a rod...the author doesn't even dive into the idea that the rod of discipline could be a Shepherds rod of gentle authority. Instead he jumps to the conclusion it is to be a switch and used for any form of disobedience.

Kristin L. said...

You ALWAYS write about topics that are so pertinent and relevant to what I'm going through as a mother! :) I JUST ordered this book from Barnes and Noble and am so eager to read it! :) I can tell some of the material may be controversial though. Just reading the reviews on Barnes and Noble's website were almost funny to me. People either loved the book, or hated it! And those that hated it, REALLY hated it... probably because they misunderstood the scripture behind Tripp's ideas. I'm eager to see what it says and judge for myself! Also, I love what you said about "Christ serving those He had authority over." So true! :)

Katie {My Paisley Apron} said...

What a great way to look at it - helping them fulfill their commandments! I love it. Thanks for posting this!

cranny + b said...

I just began following your blog and was so excited to see so many followers of a "babywise" blog! ;-) We have greatly appreciated the Ezzo's books.

I love and appreciate so many things about SYCH by Tripp. I just began reading "Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus" by Elyse Fitzpatrick. It is fantastic--an enormous layer deeper than any other book that I have read on gospel-centered parenting.

thanks for your blog!

Plowmanators said...

Val, that chapter is toward the end of the book. I just take things from beginning to end, so I will get there :)

Plowmanators said...

Thanks everyone else for your comments!


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