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Shepherding a Child's Heart

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  5,358 ratings  ·  417 reviews
Written for parents with children of any age, this insightful book provides perspectives and procedures for shepherding your child's heart into the paths of life. Shepherding a Child's Heart satisfie
Paperback, 2nd Edition, 212 pages
Published September 28th 2005 by Shepherd Press (first published January 1st 1995)
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The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-JonesA Dad After God's Own Heart by Jim GeorgeShepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd TrippGrace Based Parenting by Tim KimmelBoundaries with Kids by Henry Cloud
Christian Parenting
3rd out of 68 books — 75 voters
Chronicles of a Full-Time Father by James NinnessShepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd TrippLetters to My Sons by M.G. BiancoHow to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan TropperOff Center by Mark A. Cheatwood
Dad Books
2nd out of 18 books — 14 voters

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Community Reviews

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Skylar Burris
This is a very popular book among Christian parents, especially evangelicals, but I personally didn't find it particularly realistic or helpful. I certainly did glean a few insights from it, but, on the whole, I found its premise a little far-reaching for an ordinary human parent.

I believe, as Tripp says, that you should shepherd your kid to examine his motives and be aware of his sins. Our ultimate goal should be to do good for the mere love of God. But in reality, we're not always there and,
A lot of Christians suggest this book, but it goes against the very core of Christian parenting. It sets up an adversarial relationship under the guise of Grace and Mercy.
I have long heard this book touted as a must-read for Christian parents. So I finally got around to reading it and was quite disappointed. I definitely appreciate the emphasis on addressing children’s hearts (as opposed to their behavior alone), but I thought this book missed the mark. While it does have some very helpful insights and practical applications, it fell very short on expressing the need for parents to depend on God.

Some of his suggestions seemed to fly directly in the face of the bo
Kate Hyde
There were several parts in this book that I agree with, and also several that I disagree with. I really like the part about showing your children how their behavior is an overflow of their heart.

However, I really didn't like the author's emphasis on using "The Rod." The author says: "If you fail to are saying that you do not love your child enough to do the painful things that God has called you to do. (p.149)" That is a pretty loaded statement. All kids are different, and all paren
Ahhh! This book is killing me. I really appreciate parts of it. Particularly those talking about communication, helping a child understand their own heart, the importance of modeling and asking forgiveness for your children, respecting your children, etc. I also appreciate his assessment of the importance of obedience. I am extremely frustrated by his assertion that spanking is not only mandated by God, but the only biblical consequence for bad behavior. I don't believe he sufficiently backs thi ...more
Dalaina May
Written in 1995 and revised in 2005, Shepherding a Child’s Heart contains some truly timeless truths about children: they are sinners in need of Christ. With this foundational assumption, author Tripp lays out what he believes parents should do according to Scriptures in order to shepherd their children into loving submission under their Creator.

The first half of the book breaks down what Tripp believes to be “foundations for child rearing.” In this section, he writes about short and long term g
I must say I'm not a big fan of this book. I understand his basic premise is that behavior is a reflection of the heart or what is in our hearts (i.e., sin) and so if you don't deal with behavior at its root level, then you are just bandaging the problem. My concern with his method of discipline is that he says that, but then deals with their behavior with discipline strategies aimed at curtailing bad external behavior at a non-heart level. I think part of the issue for me too is that I have a f ...more
Wow...what to say about this book?? I had to force myself to finish reading it. I disagree with about 90% of what the author teaches, and found him to be very condescending and "holier than thou" through out the whole book. I had agreed to facilitate a lady's group study of this book over the next four month, but I have respectfully backed out and found another facilitator. I cannot/could not in good conscious lead a class study where the author teaches that the only God-ordained discipline is s ...more
For many years I have heard about this book and how helpful it is for Christian parents; I only wish I had read it years ago. It took me a while to appreciate the book because I felt like Dr. Tripp kept talking about "shepherding a child's heart" without adequately defining "shepherding." By the end of the book, I have a better understanding of how to parent biblically and of all I have done that hasn't been the wisest parenting. Thankfully, my children are still young and it shouldn't be too ov ...more
Joshua Park
I finally finished this book after months and months of reading portions with breaks in-between. It is difficult to judge whether a parenting book is good in general based on whether it's good for my family in particular. I would say that the author makes his case from a Biblical perspective, and explains several concepts very well. I don't think, however, that this approach is as universally applicable to every child as the book claims.

One of the great concepts, based on the 5th Commandment: Go
Rebekah Schrepfer
I always have my eye out for really good Christian living books, and my interests these days include Marriage, Family, Music, Children, and Youth since I deal with those things on a daily and weekly basis. Wow! It’s tough finding any practical, conservative, biblical, how-to reading! However, Tedd Tripp has thankfully filled some of the void.

While this book is full of practical suggestions and examples, Tripp’s main goal is to help you get to the heart of your child. I appreciated so much his co
Catrina Edgar
I found a couple of points in this book very helpful. However, I honestly felt the author's views to be dogmatic and his tone very condescending. As much as Christian parents strive to create a loving, nurturing, and respectful environment with God at its center, much of Tripp's ideas just did not seem realistic or even doable for the average parent in this day and age. I believe you can achieve the same result without such rigid parenting. I have no doubt that this type of parenting will create ...more
I should read this book every year to remind myself the goals of childrearing. Very biblically based look at how to approach discipline, rules, etc.
Melissa Abercrombie
Not at all for me. Rigid, legalistic and at its worst unsympathetic. I think this book overemphasizes issues children have simply based on their cognitive and emotional limitations (ie fighting over toys = idolatry) and focuses too much on the role of parent as controlling mechanism in their child's life. I've spanked my 4 year old, we've been down that path and there IS a better way and it IS MORE effective than telling your child "God told me I have to give you the rod and I have to obey God t ...more
Stephanie Sheaffer
The title sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Getting to the heart of the matter. Dealing with heart issues. Etc. I like much of what Tripp has to say, but his “child-rearing” strategies are extremely hard-handed.

Consider this sample dialogue between a father and his son -

FATHER: Do you remember what God says Daddy must do to you if you disobey?
SON: Spank me?
FATHER: That’s right. I must spank you. If I don’t, then I would be disobeying God. You and I would both be wrong. That would not be good for you
Heath Marion
This book was first published in 1995 and recently revised in 2005. There have been some who have opposed this book or who have said that it is just too hard to live out. I would disagree. For years this book as been around and thousands of parents have been enhanced by it.

The approach of this book is different from many parenting manuals today. First, Tripp is not going after good well behaved kids. As a parent, that sometimes is a fantastic goal. Tripp is moving the reader beyond behavior chan
This is probably the best book on child-training that I have ever read. Pastor and parent Tedd Tripp offers principles, applications, and advice on how to win a child's heart through care, instruction, discipleship, and discipline. One of the basic principles of this book is that every action of a child is a manifestation of his heart. If a child's behaviour is unruly or rebellious then the actions themselves should most certainly be addressed - but only as a symptom of a greater disease. I thou ...more
Ginger Clausen
This book gives unrealistic expectations for parents raising children with ADHD or other learning disabilities. He says that if your child can't sit still in church it's because you aren't doing a good job as a parent. I could see what those raising naturally quiet/compliant children love about it.

A much better book is "Have a New Kid by Friday" by Dr. Kevin Leman. He understands rambunctious children being raised by imperfect parents. The main point of Leman's book is to look at the child's at
Laura Rogers
Stop saying you have to beat your kids to get them to behave. It doesn't shepherd their hearts to spank them - which is beating them - which is abuse.
If I hit my husband to make a point, he could take me to court - but if I hit my precious little six year old, he would have no recourse.
It is just so wrong.
I am strongly offended by books/people/etc. who either come right out and say or strongly infer that it is God's will for you to hit your children- That you can't be a good "christian" without
5+ Stars.

Evidently, others have heard of this book for years, but I came across it for the first time when I was looking for parenting advice that balanced authority and grace. I tend toward authoritarianism, but know that grace is extremely important. I wanted help learning how I can and should be implementing more grace in day-to-day parenting without sacrificing the leadership role. This book is a literal God-send. The title alone, "Shepherding a Child's Heart" says it all. This is what I wan
liked it okay. I just think that it shouldn't have taken that long to say what he said. It got a little repetitive to me. Here it is in a nutshell:
Yes, we should direct children's motives, not just their behavior. Yes, we should, in everything, encourage them to seek God's desires for them. We can't expect godly results by following the world's patterns...etc...In infancy- toddlerhood, the concept of obedience and authority is the primary focus. From Kindergarten to 5th grade, focus on character
Outstanding! The premise of this book is that as parents, we need to focus not just on the outward, external behavior of our children but be actively addressing the internal heart issues which are driving the outward. Things like self-love, pride, anger, rebellion, etc. have their origins in the human heart and must be exposed as sin against God. To focus only on controlling and changing outward behavior while failing to address the heart is deadly. Tripp makes the case that all children are wor ...more
Heather Leipart
This is by far the best parenting book I have ever read. It encourages the parent to look at the heart of a child, rather than outside appearances of behavior. The goal is not merely to have an obediant child, but to have a child who obey's out of a heart of love for the Lord. Of course many examples of good and bad parenting examples are shared with the correlating results. I have seen children reared by this philosophy and from their living testimony I can say the words of wisdom contained in ...more
The first time I read it, my daughter was only a few months old and I didn't enjoy the book too much. Too scientific with too little anecdotes for me. The 2nd time I read it, she was just over 1 year old, and I gleaned a little more from it...however THIRD time's a charm!! I read it again this past Spring with a 2 1/2 year old and 9 month old, AND I read it with a group of women, and it really spoke to me and urged me to "get back on the horse" with training my children Biblically. FYI, if you a ...more
I took a lot of good points away from this book -- the emphasis on the heart of the behavior instead of the behavior alone, the importance of communication and practical examples of how healthy communication plays out, the gospel-centeredness of it all. I struggle with his demand for spanking and spanking alone. When I have tried his methods it just doesn't seem to play out in the idealistic way he describes and instead leaves me feeling rather terrible and counterproductive (son is 2.5). Aside ...more
Laura  Loy
I gave the low rating because the author is very repeatative in his purpose for writing this book and the aim of it. He would remind the reader over and over again in each chapter.. which is fine but after a while, you feel like you are being treated as one who has either very bad memory or poor understanding. I was really looking for a book with more practical and day-to-day, step by step concepts and instructions but this is really more of a book with the main concepts and principles of why yo ...more
I appreciated the spirit of this book, and the overall attitude towards parenting. However, I thought the "charts" were terribly cheesy and unhelpful. I also disagree with his enthusiasm for spanking, although I did appreciate how thoroughly he described what a proper spanking ought to look like, and when spanking is appropriate and inappropriate. To me, he focused on spanking far too much for young children and dismissed more conservative and gentle methods of discipline too easily. Overall, I ...more
Jun 30, 2014 Coyle added it
Two necessary precautionary disclaimers:

1) As of this writing, I am the parent of a one-month-old. Which means I have exactly zero real-world experience when it comes to raising children who can do more than eat and scream and poop.
2) There is little about shepherds and nothing about sheep in this book. You’ll have to look elsewhere if you want to learn more about Biblical ovine care.

With those disclaimers in mind, Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp is an excellent book. It is both theolo
Mary Havens
This book is one you can revisit at every stage of your child's life. It has practical and applicable advice. I've read it once as a parent of a 7 month old and now as a parent of a 6 and almost 4 year old. It's the kind of book that is like advice from your Dad: you need to hear it, you don't want to hear it, YOU NEED TO HEAR IT!! It's convicting and extremely hard to follow through but we will be better parents and have better children for it.
We want children of Jesus.
we do not want Pharisee's.
We cane make our children do almost anything.
But what we should want is what the Lord wants. Their heart.
This book gets back to the real priority of getting to the heart of the issue. Not just the outward appearances.

May the Lord help us not to create more PK's and and empty minded robots. But create a generation of children that know what they believe and why and that are madly in love with Jesus.
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Goodreads Librari...: Shepherding a Child's Heart cover 3 150 Jan 03, 2013 11:37AM  
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“I have spoken to many parents who feared they were producing little hypocrites who were proud and self-righteous. Hypocrisy and self-righteousness is the result of giving children a keepable law and telling them to be good. To the extent they are successful, they become like the Pharisees....The genius of Phariseeism was that it reduced the law to a keepable standard of externals that any self-disciplined person could do. In their pride and self-righteousness, they rejected Christ.” 1 likes
“The finest art of communication is not learning how to express your thoughts. It is learning how to draw out the thoughts of another.” 1 likes
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