Tuesday, March 18, 2008

'Don't Make Me Count to Three'

"Teaching your children only to change their outward behavior is no more commendable than teaching a seal to jump through a hoop." Tripp 

"When we focus on our children's outside behavior and neglect what is on the inside, we will cause our children to become manipulators. They will learn to please us by jumping through the hoop (by acting the way we tell them to act out of a fear of punishment) but they will not learn the righteousness of Christ. As a matter of fact, if we only focus on the laws of outward behavior but fail to train their hearts in accordance with God's Word, we risk them viewing Christianity as a set of burdensome rules. As a result they may never experience what it means to truly know Christ and His power to transform lives.

God's law does demand that we require proper behavior, but we cannot be satisfied to leave the matter there. God says that we are to train our children in righteousness. We must help our children understand, that their straying hearts produce wrong behavior. If we are to really help our children, we must work backward from the behavior to the heart. We must be concerned with attitudes of the heart that drive this behavior. We do this by communicating with our children in such a way that they are caused to not only understand a Christ-like attitude, but they learn how to flesh it out in their lives (Plowman, p.34)."

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