Shaping Influences of our Children

As I read through Shepherding A Child’s Heart, a book I have read before, I continue to learn “new” things.

This week, I read about shaping influences in our kids.  It is so easy in this “instant gratification” culture – the one where every book offers a 3-5 step plan to fix your life, it is easy to think we can fix what we want to fix.  I find myself thinking I can control my life, and the things around me.  Often God has to knock my around a bit to remind me that this is not true.

Tedd Tripp talks about how our children are influenced not only by our parenting style but by the shaping influences in their lives as well.  So I spent some time thinking about how that affects my gang.  One of the questions at the end of the chapter was What are your values?  What is more important to you?  And at 6am I was not sure what was most important – well actually, I was not sure what my life was saying was most important.  you understand?  What would my kids say is most important.  So as my oldest son came out to get  a kleenex & check our incubator, I asked him.  He told me the most important thing to me was that my children grow up to be Godly men and women.  He did not have to even think about it.  Then he had supporting evidence.  Wow. 


One of the things I do struggle with though is thinking that I can follow a plan, a list of steps, or read a book and figure out what I need to do to have success.  Reality is that each of my children respond differently to everything that goes on around them, and that there is no formula.  {Sally Clarkson talked about this too – that we should not parent from fear, or with a formula – but with Faith}  Instead, I need to remember (have faith) that my kids are active responders to the things around them, and I need to trust that God will give me the wisdom to teach them how to respond at times and how to deal with what goes on around them.  I also need to trust that if God has done all he has with me, he is going to be able to handle them too.

Bottom Line – No formula will solve our parenting struggles, Fear will not help us in any way to parent properly – but with Faith we can learn how our children are responding to the shaping influences in their lives and we can help to guide them through how that will affect them.

I am loving this book, again – and while it is not my favorite author, there is some great wisdom on these pages that points you to the ONLY place to really gain parenting truths – God and his Word!!

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