Shepherding a Child’s Heart Chp 12 and 13 …Appealing to the Conscience

Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp is a good book to get should anyone wants  to learn about Christ-Focused child-rearing principles. Preparing for my cell discussion this week and typing them out stays with me longer than just thinking about them….

The God-given conscience is your ally in discipline and correction. Your most powerful appeals will be those that smite the conscience. When the offended conscience is aroused, correction and discipline can find their mark. ~ pp 116

You address the heart by exposing sin and appealing to the conscience as the God-given adjudicator of right or wrong. ~ pp 119

Biblical goals must be accomplished through biblical methods. Therefore, you must reject the substitute methods that our culture presents. Chapter 13 pp 123

Has our discipline become watered down just because our kids can’t meet God’s standards? ‘ Too young to understand lah…’ I can so imagine some similar sorts of chants, my mother will probably tell or have told me when I try to explain to KX the magnitude or consequences of her disobedience. However, I do think she understands.. and understands it fully. Its a choice she made to be naughty and disobedient.

Just over the weekend, KX threw tantrum right from Sun Rise to Sun Set…nothing unfamiliar to parents with tots but to us the behaviour is simply unacceptable. Did we use the rod that day? Nope. in the early morning, the Lord reminded me Numbers 14:18. The whole day, I had to keep asking the Lord to renew my mind and grant me patience with her. LY and I both wanna model Christ’s love for her and one of the key would be truly… slow to anger and abounding in love. That day, we repeated our instructions / expectations many times. Each time she screams, throw a tantrum, wanna do something naughty…

SW: KX, disobedience will lead to …

KX: consequence.

She knows the drill and she knows the expectations… BUT…. Sigh.

or I would simply go on and on with the reassurances Yes mama is going to carry you the moment we stop the car… you do not cry or throw tantrums to get what you want. Speak and we can understand you better

She stops for a moment and then her sirenic cries filled up every space in the car. It was in the evening, 1km or less near to home that I raised my voice and silenced her with the threat.

SW: KX, it’s enough tantrums for the day, if you continue to cry for nothing, the moment Mama parked the car, I am going to spank you. This behaviour is terrible! (Remembering the verse at this point in time) BUT if you can keep quiet from now til we get back home, mama will not do so.

KX: ~silent~ (all the way hme)

and of course, I did not spank spank her. So did she understand? She did!!!!

After looking through this chapter, what would I have done differently? I should have tugged her conscience. How? hmmm…I need to first expose her sin and what was it actually, its self -absorbtion A.K.A egocentrism. The world tells us its Terrible 2s, its a phase and it will go. I agree. But would like to add that the behavior should still be addressed and not be condoned. Too great a yard stick to measure up to for a 2 year old? Well… start now and she will get there some day.

Do we sin a little less just because God’s standard of perfection is way too high to meet? No! We simply don’t sin!

Discipline is beyond science or as simple as solving math equations, its gotta tug the conscience, its gotta to be Christ Centred, its gotta help a child see that we are sinners and we need God. I need GOD.


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