Shepherding a Child’s Heart (Book Recommendation)

Everything we say and do flows from what’s in our hearts.  Luke 6:45 says, “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”  As Christian parents, we know that our job includes more than making sure our children are fed, clothed, and taught things such as how to read and write.  Tedd Tripp, the author of Shepherding a Child’s Heart, believes that “the central focus of parenting is the gospel.  You need to direct not simply the behavior of your children, but the attitudes of their hearts.”  This book is useful for parents with children of all ages.  Tripp’s purpose is to lay out “a biblical vision for the parenting task: It involves being a kind authority, shepherding your children to understand themselves in God’s world, and keeping the gospel in clear view so your children can internalize the good news and someday live in mutuality with you as people under God.”  We highly recommend this book.  To order a copy through our church office, just let pastor Grant know you’re interested.

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J. C. Ryle on the Duties of Parents

We’d like to recommend J. C. Ryle’s tremendous little book on parenting, entitled The Duties of Parents.  It can be downloaded for free on the internet at www.feedbooks.com/book/4236/the-duties-of-parents.  It only takes about an hour to read and is a great help to parents who are striving to raise their child “in the way he/she should go” (Prov. 22:6).  The book centers around the following seventeen principles:

1. training your child rightly

2. tenderness, affection, and patience

3. much depends on you

4. consider the soul of your child

5. a knowledge of the Bible

6. a habit of prayer

7. diligence in the public means of grace

8. a habit of faith

9. a habit of obedience

10. always speaking the truth

11. redeeming the time

12. fearing over-indulgence

13. how God trains His children

14. the influence of your example

15. the power of sin

16. the promise of Scripture

17. continual prayer for blessing.

If you need help accessing this free resource, please let one of our pastors know and they will gladly provide you with a copy.

January Church Newsletter

Click here to view and/or download our January church newsletter.  In it, you’ll find suggestions on new year’s resolutions for our home life as well as resources that will help you carry these out.

Resources for Personal and Family Devotions

Maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “These resolutions sound good, but are there some resources out there that can help me?”  The answer is “yes.”  Here are some resources that can help you particularly in the areas of personal and family devotions.  If you are interested in any of the items mentioned here, you may place an order for them through the church.  Just let the pastor know which ones you’re interested in.

1. One Year Bible

Besides the Bible reading plans mentioned above, another very helpful resource for Bible reading is a One Year Bible.  The reason these
are so helpful is that they are already divided up into 365 daily readings.  Each day you read a little of the Old Testament, a little of the New Testament, and a little of Psalms and Proverbs.  Within the course of a year you will have read the entire Bible.

2. The Big Picture Story Bible

This is the Bible that I (pastor Grant) use with our two year old daughter.  It breaks up the entire message of the Bible into easy to understand stories that are wonderfully illustrated.  This is a great tool to use with kids from age one to around three or four.

3. Long Story Short: Ten Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God

This is a great Bible study tool to use with kids from ages four and up (after they’ve “graduated” from the Big Picture Story Bible).  As the subtitle says, it contains ten-minute devotions that you can do with your entire family.  It takes very little time to prepare, since the devotions are already written out for you.

[This post is from our January church newsletter.  To view and/or download the newsletter click here.]

Biblical Fatherhood

On June 20 this country will celebrate Father’s Day. This is a time to honor our dads and all they have done for us. It is also a great time for dads to think about what it means to be a godly father.

When Paul addresses the church at Ephesus about the importance of instructing children in the Scriptures, he zeros in on the fathers, expecting them to take the lead. He writes, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). Now, of course, Paul would not say that this task of bringing up children is only the father’s responsibility. It’s the mom’s job too. But the fact that Paul singles out the fathers, means that, dads, when it comes to bringing up God-fearing children, the primary responsibility rests on our shoulders. In light of this, I would like to make a few suggestions that might help us be faithful in bringing our children up in this way:

  1. Make sure you are being disciplined and instructed before you try to discipline and instruct your children. The example we set for our children will either reinforce the discipline and instruction we give them, or it will negate it. Let’s not be hypocrites.
  2. Bring your family to church faithfully. While the primary responsibility of training your children to be godly rests on your shoulders, your church is a vital part of the God-given context in which your children are to grow in godliness. Let them be consistently under the teaching of the pastor and leaders of your church. Let them be around elderly people who have served Jesus faithfully for decades. Let them see a congregation sing the great hymns of the faith. Let them be in this context and you can be sure that this will go a long way in helping you bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
  3. Read the Bible with your children before they go to sleep (or at some time during the day). Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Rom. 10:17); so read them the Scriptures, and watch their faith grow!

Blessings in Christ,

Pastor Grant

(To download a copy of the BFBC June newsletter of which this post was a part, click here.)