Thursday, July 22, 2010

Review of Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp

Author: Tedd Tripp

Pages: 211pgs

Publisher: Shepherd Press

Price: 10.05

Genre: Parenting/Christian Living

Quick Summary:

I had no idea how controversial this book was until I skimmed through the over 300 reviews on Amazon. Over 150 are 5 stars and a little over 100 are 1 star. Either you love the book or you hate the book. Why? Tedd Tripp encourages spanking as a means of shepherding your child’s heart. But this book is not a “spanking manual” as some have dubbed it. This book is about addressing issues of the heart and not simply getting your child to obey.

The book is written to help parents with any age of children, but is probably most helpful to those with younger children. It is divided into two sections. The first section lays the foundations for biblical childrearing and the second section deals with practical steps for each stage of your child’s life.

What I Liked:

Tripp is unashamedly biblical in his approach to parenting. He deals fully with human depravity as well as difficult things like not sparing the rod. Even if you do not agree with spanking as being “the rod” you will still benefit from the grace that permeates this book. It is sad that Tripp is often accused of advocating child abuse. The truth is that what Tripp suggests is further from child abuse than some of the other manipulative and emotionally abusive methods that are often advocated.

This book has been incredibly helpful for my wife and me. There are, in my opinion, very few good Christian books on parenting. Most simply advocate Christian moralism and embrace secular psychology to the neglect of foundational Christian doctrines. Tripp provides a gospel centered approach.

What I Disliked:

At times I think that Tripp may overstate his case. I think there are some things that he simply dismisses and does not really provide a thorough defense of a controversial topic. An added appendix would really help.

Should You Buy It?

Don’t believe the 1 star reviews (and not even some of the 5 star reviews). Even if you disagree with spanking read this book for what Tedd Tripp is really saying. Even if at the end of the day you are not convinced that spanking is the best (most biblical) method of discipline you can still apply the principles that undergird this book. This book is gospel-centered and really does have a hope of shepherding the child’s heart and not just creating a well behaved kid. This is a great resource that every parent should consider.  Buy it for 10.05.

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

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