Right off the bat, Tripp hits us with a task that seems too difficult to even start comprehending (at least for me). In the second chapter of Shepherding a Child’s Heart, he says,
Shaping influences are those events and circumstances in a child’s developmental years that prove to be catalysts for making him the person he is. But the shaping is not automatic; the ways he responds to these events and circumstances determine the effect they have on him.
Tedd Tripp, Shepherding a Child’s Heart
You’d think I’d feel a slight burden lifted because of the onus put on the child to react to shaping influences except for the fact that children learn from their parents how to react…so it’s all squarely back on my shoulders. And that freaks me out. Scares me. Almost paralyzes me to the point of wanting to curl up under the covers an never come out.
Until I remember that I am here, in this position as a parent, on God’s errand. He will give me the strength and equip me with the necessary tools to accomplish the task He has put before me.
So what are the shaping influences that affect our children? That impacted us as children and still pepper our decisions and actions and adults?
Tripp lists the following:
- Structure of family life (something I have control over)
- Family values (again, something I have control over)
- Family roles (yep, in my control)
- Family response to failure (absolutely in my control)
- Family history (not so much within my control)
- Family conflict resolution (yes, my responsibility)
Yikes…that’s a lot of things to do. To keep this doable for today, I want to take a step back from the shaping influences he lists and instead get to the heart of the matter: your attitude and perspective in the adventure of biblical parenting.
Today’s 5 minute task is to meditate on the thought above (and pictured below against a darkly beautiful Everett sunset). Ask God to remind you just how important this task is that He has given you but also ask for Him to fill you with His wisdom and strength since we get to tap His unbounded power because He has so freely given it to us.
You can do this. With His help. So just ask.
Blessings, friends. ~Rachel
This is part of a 31 day series of shepherding a child’s heart in 5 minutes a day (click here for the series intro). I pray this series edifies you as much as reading Tripp’s book has encouraged and challenged my husband and I in how we raise our children. Subscribe to the blog in the side bar if you’d like to get posts emailed to you in a weekly digest or subscribe on your favorite blog reader.