Tedd Tripp was at Sov Grace Apex this morning. First, a note about Sovereign Grace Churches. There is something about them. The people are very gracious when you walk in, very welcoming, the prayers are very grace centered – not big long drawn out theological prayers. Its very nice. I have been to this church before when it was a newer church, went to one of their small groups. A friend of mine goes there and really loves it. God has allowed it to grow over the years. Excited. Love SG churches!
Shepherding a Child’s Heart
Sovereign Grace, Apex, North Carolina
(As a side note: I was told by a friend attending the conference that this truth is so good to hear, but much harder to apply when there are diapers that need changing and kids pulling at your skirt or throwing food at the dinner table. There is grace not only for your kids – there is also grace for you. None of us are perfect parents. Live in grace, dear friends. God’s grace is sufficient, even for your parenting.)
“Living Joyfully Under Authority” – Early Childhood
There is a process of development within your child. They are developing physically, socially, intellectually, and spiritually.
He is learning how to work with the people in his world, how to be cute, coy, demanding, manipulative, how to interect with the different parents he has. High fives dad, rubs noses with moms.
They are learning how the world works. Child proof locks don’t always work. They are acquiring language.
They are also developing spiritually. They are creatures of God, a God who is holy, He has given His Son for me. He is also learning to bow before idols. There is probably not another period in life where he is developing so radically. Tremendous development in the first five years. There is incredible potential here, tremendous potential, designed for glory.
How do you focus? There is a single overarching thought: sturdy enough to meet the needs of this child. The primary objective is teaching the child to live under authority. God has made the world designed with authority structures. It is foundational for human beings. In the home, workplace, the state, the govt, the church. It is liberating for a human being to learn this.
The boundary of the blessing circle (which kids are to live) is to honor and obey. Two blessings are go well and long life. You want this for your child. What does God’s word say, and what does this mean for you? You are to obey it.
Children are in direct command here. This isn’t even to parents to instruct their children. The Apostle Paul is talking to children. Most children though aren’t going to pick up the Bible on their own. Parents: it is your job to train up your children.
Teaching your child this verse is a training process with your children. You are constantly bringing them this truth of authority, blessing, and obedience. That is how training takes place. You are refreshing them with this truth.
Presentation is incredibly important. We want to be winsome in how we present this truth to our children. “My roof, my table, you must obey me.” If you do it this way, you are planting seeds of rebellion. This presents a head to head conflict. We have invited rebellion. We need to present this as God-centered not man-centered. He has made all things for His glory. He has told us how to live for our good and His glory. You can trust God to work through Mom and Dad. It is rooted in God’s authority.
A lot of young people have a misunderstanding of authority. We don’t see it has beneficial, we see it as destructive and annoying. Parents try to avoid being authoritative. They try to bribe, plead, and make their children obey. Parents themselves are uncomfortable with authority in their own lives. Parents give away their authority millions of times. Cereal choices. Sporting choices. Piano lessons. 5 year olds don’t think that oatmeal and octave scales are good for them. They need to know gracious ways to respond to wisdom. This is where parenting comes in. Authority. Under the age of 5, you need to teach them they are under authority, not that they are independent decision makers.
Gracious authority is a blessing to them. Those children lack wisdom, maturity, and life experience. It is a blessing to live under this authority.
Obey = Submission to God’s authority that causes a child to do what he is told by the parents immediately, without excuse, without complaint, and without question. There doesn’t need to be any discussion or pleading. There doesn’t need to be any screaming. There doesn’t need to be any counting, threatening, or raised blood pressures. You train them to obey, to submit to authority. Teach them to submit to God’s authority.
Honor = submission to God’s authority that causes a child to speak to his parents with respect for their role as God’s agent of nurture, direction and discipline. Kids do not need to speak to their parents as though they were peers. Parents are set up as authoritative figures. Children cannot give their parents orders.
Go Well = The spiritual blessings that come to a child as he lives under God’s authority: along with the natural blessings that come as the adults in his world recognized that he is obedient and trustworthy. Spiritually and practically.
Long Life = the blessings of prosperity and protection, richness and fullness of life that God provides for the child that lives under His structures of authority.
What God has done in this passage is marvelous. He has drawn a circle of blessing. You want these for your kids, kids want them for themselves. Teach your kids the Importance of living inside the circle. Inside there is peace and blessing. Outside the circle is danger.
Discipline: a rescue mission aimed at returning the child to the circle of blessing. The function of discipline is not punitive, but corrective. Its goal is positive, not negative. We aren’t to discipline out of revenge, or hatred, or anger, or punitive. It is restorative, it is loving.
Hebrews 12.5 – my sons, don’t despise the Lord’s correction, He disciplines those whom He loves. God brings us the reproof of life. The ultimate goal is holiness as God is holy.
Physical discipline of children. This is not a popular idea. Verses: Proverbs 13:24, 19:18, 22:15, 23:13-14, 29:15, 17. The Bible is not unclear about spanking children; it is just an unpopular thing to do in our culture. The warning of Colossians 2:8-9 must be taken seriously. Captives are wartime – we are not to be taken captive by human traditions and the ways of the world: hollow and deceptive. Like chocolate bunny’s for Easter. These are hollow and deceptive. There is no chocolate in it. There is a lot of wax in the chocolate.
Spanking is not fashionable. Ideas go in and out of style. God’s word calls us to discipline our children. We are usually more influenced by the philosophical fashion trends of the world than we are to the precious word of God. The world’s voices will subtly tell you how to think about these important truths. How will you guard your mind and heart and actions. The trajectory of the world is moving away from God’s Word. God’s Word is clear on this matter (see verses above). “I love my kids too much to spank them” is not a VALID statement. This is anti-biblical. The real truth is you love yourself too much to spank your child. And that is SIN. Your child is on a pathway to destruction, eternal destruction. Your role as parent is to discipline them in a way that leads them to Christ. The gospel. If you don’t discipline your child, you will have no peace. Folly, the living as there is no authority, will bring no peace in your home. Rescue comes from the Word of God. The necessity of meeting your child’s defiance by the discipline that parent’s should lovingly use to steer their children to Christ.
The How of Spanking (Hebrews 12:11)
1.Take your child to a private place.
2.Tell him specifically what he has done or failed to do. Don’t give a general end of the day spanking. There will no benefit of that.
3.Secure an acknowledgment.
4.Remind him that your objective is restoration to the circle of blessing.
5.Tell him how many swats he will receive.
6.Remove his drawers (that’s underwear for those of you raised in the south, or britches)
7.Restoration: tell him how much you love him
8.Pray with him. Impress on him the mark of Christ, the gospel.