I am presently working toward certification in Biblical Counseling and, as a result, having to read many books. This has been incredibly enriching to me personally. It was an immersion in biblical theology a few years ago that caused me to reevaluate and then redirect my pastoral ministry.
Both of these experiences are so practical. The ‘way’ of the Lord really gets in your head and heart. Knowing God and knowing how to live out that reality on a daily basis will rock your world. Let me share with you one of the ways that this is happening in real time.
After reading Ted Tripp’s book, Shepherding a Child’s Heart, I felt pretty beat up with regret that I had not always parented my children as I should have. Our kids are doing okay, it’s just, I wish I had done better as a dad. So I had an idea, as a family (with all adult children) we have started going through this book a chapter at a time and discussing it.
Since the principle ideas fit all of life—not just the parenting of small children—I thought it would be doubly beneficial in two ways: First, the content of the book itself where issues of the heart are constantly addressed would be tremendous and, secondly, it would be an opportunity to talk to the youth of our home about what our ideas and goals were in raising them the way that we did. This has been amazing as the discussion is replete with explanations, apologies, questions, critiques, laughter, and stories; lots of stories.
The ‘kids’ have totally gotten into this open and honest conversation where my wife and I get a chance to explain ourselves, tell them our stories of growing up without the benefit of parents even trying to shape us in a godly way, how by grace we are what we have become, and that they (our children) are responsible to respond righteously to all the shaping influences in their life whether those influences were good, bad, or ugly.
This has been a wonderful ‘second-chance’ for us as parents and the worth of it has been off the charts. I believe it serves as a legitimate and sincere venue that draws everyone in to reflect on the past and then to consider the present and then also the future with new eyes.
I heartily recommend something like this for you and your family.