17 Nov Shepherding the Heart Part I
What does it mean to shepherd the heart?
When the Lord showed me His desire that I shepherd the hearts of my children, I was completely lost. I remember thinking, “Lord, what exactly do You mean by this?”
Now I’m supposed to figure out how to combine behavior modification, heart and character, and academics! I thought I was just looking for a simple curriculum. My original prayer request was for guidance on what curriculum to purchase. This quickly turned into being shown a concept new to me regarding parenting. Not at all what I was expecting. So, what do we do when we are in need of an answer to something? We Google it.
I quickly began my Google search on character-building curricula that was centered on Christ but had a strong academic background as well. I was looking for ways to shepherd the hearts of my children. This is when I came across the book Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp. Surely, this was a concept God REALLY wanted me to learn and use.
God supplies all of our needs
At the time, I didn’t have the resources to buy the book, but God blessed me in that my mother had already read the book before and had it on her Kindle. I was REALLY supposed to read this book!
Side note: Often times we feel led in a certain way and need different supplies or resources to continue in that way. We start to panic or make purchases without seeking God and waiting for Him to supply our needs. Stop being so quick to try to meet your own needs, and wait patiently for our Heavenly Father’s good and perfect timing.
I began reading and praying. I loved the concepts taught in Shepherding a Child’s Heart and was excited about changing my approach with our children. After speaking with my husband about it, I so badly wanted him to read the book with me. Although he never got around to it, it was ok because I would just share with him everything I was learning.
Everything was going pretty well until I came to this concept of the “rod of discipline” in chapter 11. This will probably be a separate post within itself. But in Shepherding a Child’s Heart, they mainly refer to spanking as the rod of discipline.
When it came to this concept of spanking, my husband and I quickly discovered a difference in opinions. This difference slowly began to cause complications for us in parenting and in our marriage.
Is this what I really needed? Maybe I heard wrong!
Not only were we not on the same page (which was not good for our children), but I no longer felt supported by my husband when it came to disciplining our children. I began to get super frustrated and blamed God for showing me the book in the first place. I told my husband that if he wouldn’t support me, I would just go back to parenting the way we were. Meanwhile, our son was testing limits more and more.
I didn’t understand. Hadn’t God asked me to shepherd our children’s hearts? Didn’t He lead me to this book for a purpose? As I sought the Lord for direction and received wise counsel, I decided to pray that my husband would get with MY program and to keep doing what I “knew was right.”
Well, this idea wasn’t actually biblical, and in no way was I submitting to my husband’s authority. In my pride, I had not prayed about this; it was all about how I was feeling. I felt like I should be in control since I would have the most interactions with our children and because “God was leading ME in this direction.”
Click here to continue reading part II of Shepherding the Heart.
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