We’re watching the Shepherding a Child’s Heart video series at church on Sunday nights (the third church we have attended to do so). As usual, they provide great material for discussion between Lee and me. There is much helpful and encouraging material in these videos, and we would gladly recommend them to others.
However, one of the limitations of this series and other books/ videos is that they do not address a child who is not saved and does not have the power of the Holy Spirit within him to do right. In fact, at one point, Tripp scolds parents who are waiting for their children to become saved to deal with the heart. I think I know what he’s saying, and I agree that you don’t wait until salvation to show the child his motivations and beliefs that result in his actions; however, about the only thing I can pray for is God’s conviction of sin. Although these same authors can discuss the inability of an adult to do right, for some reason it appears as though they have a different standard for children.
Tripp does say that discussing the heart leads to the gospel: We cannot do right on our own. That is why God sent His Son to die on the cross for us. If we apply this to a saved child, we’ll then talk about the provisions God has made for us to actually be conformed into the image of His Son Jesus Christ.
What do we say to an unsaved child? You disobeyed because you are a sinner (fin