Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Speaking of favorite parenting works, this fall we again worked through the book Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp. This time it was with a group of young parents and the prestigous experienced couple, Rob and Teresa Smith. I have a ton, ton, ton of respect for the Smiths (right front in photo) and was very encouraged by all the parents who were involved and the hard work they put forth engaging with the material. And it was a tremendous refresher course for us as well, having an 8 year old, one in the toddler years, and one on the way in a few weeks. Without intentional effort, it is all too easy to forget the basics and revert to sloppy habits with each passing year.

Why do parents forget and get sloppy? Because the mallet of parenting will slowly beat you down like a mechanical gopher at the state fair. Enough whacks and you learn it's easier to just lay low and avoid the conflict. The idol of happiness takes over in a hurry when a mini-me flails for attention in the middle of the condiments aisle at Walmart. Every cold eye set on the situation screams "Give them whatever they want - just make it stop!!!"At that moment you wonder, "Was dijonaise really this essential?"

It seems that the natural tendency of the heart of a parent is to move toward expediency and convenience, rather than working hard and fighting for your child's heart. Praise God for friends,  resources, and the power of the Holy Spirit that all help keep us on track with applying the gospel in every parenting situation. No one does it perfectly, but yet we strive to keep the shaping of the heart at the center of our parenting goals.

So if you see the Smiths out riding their tandem bike, make sure to leave lots of room in the lane, as we want to preserve their wisdom for many more parents to absorb!

Such a happy group of parents. Lots of smiles. Notice no kids around. Coincidence?

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