Reflections and Blog

Book Recommendation: Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp

Considering Sunday’s sermon, I wanted today to recommend to you one of my favorite Christian books: Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp. Though I am not yet a parent, I read this book on parenting as part of my biblical counseling training courses at seminary. I was genuinely blown away by the simple wisdom of what I read. Tripp writes in a clear, thoughtful, and engaging way as he explains how the Bible is a sufficient resource for parents and what faithful Christian parenting looks like. Tripp addresses not only the fundamental principles that should equip and guide Christian parents but also the practical outworking of those principles in topics like communication, discipline, and stages of childhood. I know many Christian parents who have loved and benefitted from this book, and I gladly recommend it to you as well.

To whet your appetite, here is the publisher’s description:

Shepherding a Child’s Heart is about how to speak to the heart of your child (Luke 6:45). Written for parents with children of any age, this insightful book provides perspectives and procedures for shepherding your child’s heart into the paths of life.

In this revised edition, Dr. Tedd Tripp draws on his thirty years experience as a pastor, counselor, school administrator, and father, and shares insights gained in many years of teaching this material in conferences worldwide.

Here also is an excerpt from the book’s introduction:

Today’s parents are frustrated and confused. Children don’t act like they should and parents don’t understand why. Many have concluded the job is impossible. Some simply turn away in frustration. Others keep trying to make the old 1950s John Wayne approach [(“you listen to me, kid, or I’ll cuff you”)] work. Meanwhile, a generation of children is being wasted.

Our evangelical culture is nearly as lost as the society at large. We are losing our children. Parents of little children live in mortal fear of adolescence. Parents of teens continually remind them that their day is coming. When I had three teenage children, people would console me. The expectation is that the problems grow with the children.

This book, however, asserts hope for the situation. You can raise children in godly ways at the beginning of the 21st century. You need not—indeed, you dare not—cave in, concluding that the task is impossible. Experience may tell you failure is inevitable, but experience is an unsafe guide.

The only safe guide is the Bible. It is the revelation of a God who has infinite knowledge and can therefore give you absolute truth. God has given you a revelation that is robust and complete. It presents an accurate and comprehensive picture of children, parents, family life, values, training, nurture, and discipline—all you need to be equipped for the task of parenting.