Chapter 12: Embracing Biblical Methods: Appeal to the Conscience
"They (the Gentiles) show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them..." - Romans 2:15
Our correction and discipline must find its mark in the conscience of our children, says Tripp. God gives us all a conscience to make decisions with. In addition to the book of Proverbs justifying the use of the rod, it also entreats us to appeal to the conscience (ex. Pro. 23:17,19,22,23,26). The rod has limitations and gets attention, the conscience must be plowed up and planted with God's truth.
Twice in Matthew 21, Jesus Himself appeals to the consciences of the Pharisees. As Tripp notes, there is a pattern. "Christ appeals to their conscience so they cannot escape the implications of their sin. Thus, He deals with the root problems, not just the surface issues." When we appeal to the consciences of our children, we're teaching them to identify their own sins. While this is beneficial even while they are young, it will be even more so as they age and begin to make more of their own judgment calls.
Dr. Tripp reminds us that the cross of Christ must be the central focus of our childrearing. We are to be helping our children understand themselves as sinners. We need to then remind them of the mercy of God and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for their sin. We should be holding them to the same standard God holds them to, so they see they need grace of God to achieve such. Otherwise, they depend on their own resources, which in turn moves them away from the cross.
Chapter 13: Shepherding the Heart Summarized
Thought I would like to post the details about this chapter, it is basically a summary of the first 12 chapters. I fear my comments would be too close to plagiarism because of it's nice, short list. To read the summary for yourself, refer to pages 126-127 of the book.
I'm looking forward to the next section of this book: Shepherding Through the Stages of Childhood. Dr. Tripp will walk us through ages and stages, tackling specific issues dealing with each. Stay tuned for next week!