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Shepherding a Child’s Heart

The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Luke 6:45, ESV

Tedd Tripp says, “If the goal of parenting is only securing proper behavior, we will never help our children understand the internal things – the heart issues – that push and pull behavior. The things your child does and says flow from the heart.”

This study provides perspectives and procedures for shepherding your child’s heart into the paths of life. The temptation when things have gone wrong is to correct behavior. We instinctively see behavior as the problem. That’s because we see behavior. We hear behavior. Behavior requires a response. Once we have made behavior the focus in correction and discipline, we open ourselves up to all the tricks and tools parents use to manage behavior.

But when we head down the behavior management road, two things happen. We miss the heart and we miss the gospel. We forget that the heart is the wellspring of behavior. We miss the gospel because behaviorism by-passes the heart. Behaviorism focuses on behavior rather than the desires, fears, idols or passions of the heart. If we remember that behavior mirrors the heart, then the route to lasting change for both our children and ourselves is the grace and power of the gospel.