Posts Tagged ‘Paul Tripp


am I selling wisdom?

The last part of Paul Tripp’s seminar was about teenagers.

He said that our job as parents is to sell to your teen that which they are not seeking (or struggling with).

The typical struggles of a teenager are:

-no hunger for wisdom and correction

(Am I selling wisdom?  Or is my self-righteousness in the way?)

-tendency toward legalism

(Teen says, “I didn’t technically disobey you because you just said not to go to Jon’s house.  I wasn’t at his house, I was in his yard.”)

-unwise in choice of companions

(Ask, “Why do you like hanging out with her?”  Make your house the best house in the neighborhood to hang out at.)

-particularly susceptible to sexual temptation

-they do not think about the end result of things (lack eschatological perspective)

(They live in ‘the now’.  Galatians 6:7 “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”  Give them a “harvest mentality.”  Matthew 6:19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.”  Give them an “investment mentality”.

-tend to lack heart awareness

(Ask, “What is it right here, right now that God wants my teen to see that she is not now seeing?  And how can I help her see it?)

Remember that your heart is more like the heart of your teenager.  You struggle with the same things.

The struggles that your teenager has forms your job description as a parent.


what is ruling your heart right now?

Paul Tripp next talked about specific stages of children.

His main point in children age 0-5 was the rod as the principal tool of dicipline.  He said, “Sin reduces all of us to fools.  When I do foolish things, bad things happen.”  He gave the verses Proverbs 13:14, 19:18, 22:15, 23:13-14, and 29:15-17

He gave a model of the right way to spank.

-Only in a clear act of rebellion against authority.

-Must get a hold of my heart first before I spank.

-Go in a private place, not in front of siblings.

-Discuss the offense and tell them how many spankings they will receive.

-Seek an acknowledgement from the child of their sin.

-Administer the spanking(s)

-After the spanking(s), love and hug on the child.  Say, “I wish I never have to do this again.”

-Pray with and for the child.  Give the child an opportunity to pray.

Then he talked with us about children age 6-12.

His main point here was that not all disobedience, especially at this age, is about rebelling against authority.  A lot of disobedience comes from your child’s lack of character.  Scripture attaches character to worship.  Romans 1:25, “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised.”  The heart of your child is always living under the rule of something.  What does your child worship?  Ask them after they disobey, “What is ruling your heart right now?”

He gave an example of the classroom diva, Susie, that told your daughter she must wear a party dress to school the next day or else she is not in the cool club.  Your daughter comes home and tells you that she must wear a party dress to school.  You ask your daughter, “Is Susie ruling your heart right now?  Has Susie become more important to you than God?”  After you talk with her, you can tell quickly if she is idolizing Susie or not.  If she is, then it is not appropriate for your daughter to wear a party dress the next day.

He also talked to us about tools to encourage change in their behavior.  He encouraged parents to bear their struggles to their kids.  Talk about your idols to them.  Never tell them, “I can’t believe you would do that” because you would, and you are shaming them.  He talked about procrastination.  When your son comes up to you at 10 p.m. on Sunday night and tells you he has a science project due on Monday, what do you do?  Before you respond with anger, think about if you have ever procrastinated before.  Maybe not paying your bills till the day they’re due, or not cleaning your house until the night before your mother in law comes over or watching TV when you should be reading the Bible.  Your response to your son should be, “I get it.  I am like you and procrastinate too.  I’m not going to do your project, but there is hope for people like me and you.  We need to humbly confess and ask God for help.”  So you still let him receive the consequences of not getting his science project done, but you do not get angry at him.  Remember, is he breaking God’s law or your law, (you shall do your homework assignments in a timely manner)?

Your children don’t need your opinion about whether or not they are fools for doing what they did, they need the mirror of the Word of God put in front of them to confront them.  The world puts carnival mirrors in front of them.


disobedience is not a hassle!

This past weekend I went to a parenting seminar by Paul Tripp.  Gosh, it was GOOD!!!  These next few posts are me digesting my notes that I wrote down.

I am God’s agent on site.  I am meant to make the invisible authority of God visible to my children.  Are they drawn to the authority of God because of the beautiful way I have represented it?

Our job as parents is to put a sense of awe for God in them.  If you’re not intent with putting God in the center of their world, guess who they will put there?  They WILL give their heart to something.  (boys, cheerleading, vanity, etc.)

Parents are masters at giving our children ways to AVOID love.  He gave an example of siblings who share a room and they constantly fight with each other.  What is our natural response?  Split them up in separate rooms (so that they don’t have to learn how to love each other.)  We need to teach them how to live in self-sacrificing love for each other.

Never say to your child, “I can’t believe you would do such a thing!”  Because you would do the same thing.  We are all broken people.  We need to show our children who our hope is when we fall.  In our brokenness, we can run to God.  No one gives grace better than someone who deeply believes they need it.  You say to your children, “I understand you did this because I am like you.  I want to rule my world too.”

Disobedience is not a hassle, but an opportunity of grace to rescue the heart of the child.  When you are going back to their bedroom for the 100th time at 10 o’clock at night to tell them to GO TO SLEEP again, remember this:  God is working on everyone in the bedroom.  He is rescuing me from MY selfish ways.  I’m not angry because they broke God’s law.  That would be righteous anger, and I would feel different.  I am angry because they broke MY law.  He will expose their needs to you and He won’t pay attention to your schedule (but I’m in the middle of my favorite TV show!).  If I discipline with the wrong heart motive, then I will turn moments of ministry into moments of anger because you will personalize what is not personal.  Their rebellion is not against you, but God.

He gave an example about a rotten apple tree.  What if he told his wife he knew how to “fix” the apple tree and he went to the store and bought beautiful apples and nail gunned them all to the branches of his rotten tree?  Did he “fix” that tree?  No, of course not.  The tree is rotten because of it’s roots.  When our children are “rotten”, we essentially do the same “nail gunning” strategy to change their behavior -threat, manipulation, and guilt them.  But we have no capacity to do what only grace can accomplish.

Our goal is heart level obedience, not simple physical obedience.  Our house rules are protective, not restorative.  House rules have no power to change behavior, only Jesus does.  Confession is owning the personal responsibility for my words and behavior without shifting the blame or excuse.  But your children can not grieve what he hasn’t seen.  (Parents are tools to spiritual sightedness.)  He can’t confess what he hasn’t grieved.  And he can’t repent what he hasn’t confessed.   How do we help them “to see”?  After the offense, ask them these 5 questions.  (An example of a 4 year old answer after each question is of a boy who just threw his truck at his brother.)  Help them “see” their sin so they will grieve.

1.  What was going on?  (Johnny has my toy!)

2.  What were you thinking and feeling while it happened?  (Mad!)

3.  What did you do in response?  (Threw my truck at him!)

4.  Why did you do it?  (I wanted my toy back!)

5.  What was the result?  (Johnny cried.)

All we have is little moments to parent these children.  We have to live with prepared spontaneity.  I must hold my schedule loosely.

My photography business!

June 2023