I am always on the lookout for parenting books. Especially Christian parenting books. I might not buy them but just to read the excerpt in the back or flip through a few pages to see what they have to offer. You see, my Hubby and I have a distinct set of parenting ideas we stick to already and I try to find books that help me accomplish that. 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell is one of those books. I saw Shepherding a while back and then again a few days ago. So I bought it.
WOW! That is all I can say. Normally a Christian parenting book doesn’t affect me. This one though cut me to the core. I never realized I had so many issues (or rather I knew but thought them safely hidden) that would come boiling to the surface. I don’t like this book. I don’t like, what I felt, was extreme Christianity. I don’t like absolute authority. I have always felt there is a fine line between talking with your kids and getting them involve in their own lives. Letting them be the miniature people that they are. Verses what I say goes. I am the parent, just listen and obey.
I am going to give you my review now. ** If I offend anyone please accept my apologizes but know that this is truly how I feel about this book and life itself. 🙂
When I first saw this book, what drew me was the title : Shepherding a child’s heart. One of my ideas as a parent is to get to the heart of my children. I am always trying to get them to talk with/to me. I want them to honestly tell me what they are feeling. I want miniature people in my house not little robots that obey my every whim. So I though this book would help me guide my child’s heart in an honest, godly direction.
The first few chapters really spoke to my heart.
“The only safe guide is the Bible” pg xvii (intro)
“The parent is the child’s guide” pg xix (intro)
“The heart is the control center of life. Parents often get sidetracked with behavior. If your goal in discipline is changed behavior, it is easy to understand why this happens. The thing that alerts you to your child’s need for correction is his behavior. Behavior irritates and thus calls attention to itself. Behavior becomes you focus. You think you have corrected when you have changed unacceptable behavior to behavior your sanction and appreciate.” pg 4 I like these quotes. How often do we focus on the “you are being bad” instead of why are you acting this way. “We demand changed behavior and never address the heart that drives the behavior” pg 5
Then he brings in God.
“Everyone is essentially religious” pg 20
“All people have God’s clear revelation of truth, but wicked people suppress the truth. In the language of Roms 1, your children either respond by faith or they suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” pg 20
“They are subtle idols of the heart” pg 22
These are some of the quotes that spoke to me. Our children need God. Our children have a heart of their own and they eventually need to find God, and what God means to them. I guess I don’t believe in immersing children in religion. I believe that we should let our children know there is a God, that he created the world, that he has a set of love letters, rules, and laws meant to govern us, Then when they children are older they can choose themselves which direction to take.
The next chapter: “You’re in Charge” is when it really gets on my nerves. I have come to the realization that I have a problem with authority. I don’t like someone ruling my life completely, letting someone tell me how to live my life, or who to visit or not visit. That kinda hits a nerve with me. We are free creatures under God and I believe God has given us a world in which to live. Yes, there may be restrictions and things we ought not to do but that is a person choice and his alone to make. That is between a person and his God. How does this tie into children? Children are free people. Children have a right to decide things, They have a little mind and should be allowed to use it. Parents are there to guide the children. Make them realize that some things in life are not good, that there is a path to take in life, that we must get along with others. And that is why reaching their hearts are so important.
“If you are going to shepherd your children, you must understand what makes them tick” pg 33
Anyway I could go on and on about this book and maybe I’ll write more in a later post but for today this is all. This little book has a few gems of wisdom in it but overall it is way to extremist Christian for me.