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Shepherding Children - Introduction. No matter where you are in life— small kids, grown kids or no kids, we all need to understand the parent/ child relationship.

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Shepherding Children - Introduction

No matter where you are in life—small kids, grown kids or no kids, we all need to understand the parent/ child relationship.

We may not have the appropriate image of a father when we consider our own life experiences, but as we study what the Bible says about parenting, we can understand more about our Heavenly Father and how he cares for us. We can then bring him glory by emulating that same love to children.


Shepherding Children - Introduction

  • Areas to be covered in this short study:
  • What are you trying to accomplish as a shepherd?
  • What is your objective?
  • How are you going to do it?
  • How’s the preparation going?
  • Have you given it much thought?
  • We want to prepare our children for the time when we will no longer be there for them.
  • …but prepare them for what?

Shepherding Children - Introduction

Goal of Life

Isaiah 43:7

7everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

Romans 15:6

6that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Cor 10:31

31So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

2 Cor 5:9

9So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.


Shepherding Children - Introduction

Goal of Life

We do this as we progress in our



Shepherding Children - Introduction

Goal of Life




Glorify God






Shepherding Children - Introduction

Not the Goal of Life








Today, we’ll look at four foundations for shepherding children that will guide us away from this type of shepherding…


Shepherding Children – Your/the Parents’ Relationship with God

It is impossible to shepherd biblically without God’s grace and salvation.

1 Cor 2:14

14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.


Shepherding Children – The Source of Truth

Where do people go

…for solutions for living?

…for advice on shepherding issues?

…for comfort?

…for knowledge of man’s beginnings?

Deuteronomy 8:3

3 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

John 17:17

17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.


Shepherding Children – The Source of Truth

You have a choice as a parent and we have a choice as a church as shepherds of children.

We can follow personal experience, popular culture, or the latest expert.

Or we can follow the Good Shepherd.


Shepherding Children – A Child’s Nature

What is the natural bent of children?

Romans 3:23

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

vs. Tabula rasa or children are born with a blank tablet to be written upon by environment and experience. We are born “neutral”.

If we parent with this philosophy we are definitely training up a child in the way that he should go….but it is a way that encourages a child to worship himself and blame his environment and others for his sins.


Shepherding Children – A Child’s Nature

Prov 22:6

6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Promise? Or statement of cause and effect?


Shepherding Children – A Child’s Nature

It indicates the early heart training influences lifelong heart choices.

If a parent let’s the child go his natural way, he will have a difficult time departing from that as he grows older.

Warning! Focus here is on Prov. 22:6 and habituation!

Some children are harder than others perhaps because they are more set in their ways than others. They need to be retrained because they have already habituated their sin patterns. That’s what this verse is warning about.


Shepherding Children – A Child’s Nature

Parents have the primary responsibility to retrain them—the church can help, too.

Take the child who has been allowed to never eat their vegetables…

Prov 22:6

6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

This child has been trained up in the way that “he” wants to go, and as he gets older he won’t depart from that way.

This verse tells us to start early and be consistent.


Shepherding Children – A Christian Parent’s Goal

What is a parent’s target?

What kind of child do I want to produce?

What do I want my son/daughter to look like when he/she leaves home?


Shepherding Children – A Christian Parent’s Goal

Romans 8:29

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

In other words, bring up your child to handle life in a Christ-like way.

“I want Johnny to be conformed to the image of Christ as he becomes a baseball player.”

This type of goal can put Johnny’s hobbies/career first and subjects conforming to Christ as a close second. Believers don’t admit this, but our actions would testify to that.


Shepherding Children – A Christian Parent’s Goal

What does Christ-likeness look like?

Isaiah 52:13

13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted.

-Jesus is referred to as a servant

Luke 2:51

51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.

-Jesus submitted to his earthly parents.

Luke 19:10

10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

John 17:4

4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.

-Christ glorified God while on the earth.

1 Peter 2:23

23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.

-Jesus entrusted himself to God.

Galatians 5:22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.


Shepherding Children – Application #1

  • Consider the following steps to address these areas:
    • Praise an area of strength in each child.
    • Look at areas to be developed, pick one and consider which fruit of the Spirit would most specifically address the weakness.
    • Begin to consider how your regular daily activities could be used to teach and foster growth in this specific area.
    • Begin to consider special activities that could be helpful.
  • For example: PATIENCE
    • How could this character quality be seen at the dinner table?
    • How does it relate to getting ready for school in the morning?
    • How would it be seen in playing a game?
    • What are the natural consequences my child may see as a result of lacking this quality?
  • Remember: “Just two choices on the shelf, pleasing God, or pleasing self.”

Shepherding Children – A Christian Parent’s Goal

What are some wrong targets?

“I just want peace and quiet.”

“I can’t do that -- he might cry.”

“I just want my kids to be happy.”

“I don’t have time for this, I have work to do.”

“It is just a phase-- ignore it; it will pass.”

“I want my child to be liked by others/popular.”

“I just want him to have friends.”

“I don’t want to be embarrased.”

What are the potential results

if parents focus on these goals?


Shepherding Children – Application #2

Goal of Life

1. My goal in life is to please God.

▪ I Cor. 10:31 – So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

▪ 2 Cor. 5:9 – So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.

▪ Colossians 3:17 – And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

2. I please God by being like Jesus.

▪ Matt 3:17 – And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."

3. God knows I won’t be perfect, but He expects me to be growing.

▪ Eph 4:22-24 – 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

▪ 2 Peter 3:18 – but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.


Shepherding Children – A Good Resource

Other resources we have had at the bookstore and/or the office bookshelves:

Teach Them Diligently – Lee Priolo

Age of Opportunity – Paul Tripp

Shepherding a Child’s Heart – Ted Tripp

Instructing a Child’s Heart – Tedd Tripp

Everyday Talk – John Younts

Family Worship – Terry Johnson

Give Them Grace – Elise Fitzpatrick

Focuses on getting to the heart and teaching right responses.