Book review: “Shepherding a Child’s Heart” by Tedd Tripp.

There’s an old saying that many parents can be heard uttering: “I wish my children came with an instruction manual.” Well, children may not come equipped with an instruction manual, but I found the next best thing: Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp.

I just completed this book and found it to be the most helpful work on training and disciplining your children in the Lord that I’ve had the pleasure of reading. It has helped me in understanding my faults, what my goals should be, and how to facilitate Biblical principles and standards in the shepherding of the hearts of my children. This book has helped me greatly in how I approach the issues of discipline with my own children.

I highly recommend this book to parents and expecting parents. I read an older version of this book but you can purchase the revised/updated version here or here.

7 thoughts on “Book review: “Shepherding a Child’s Heart” by Tedd Tripp.

  1. This is a book I’ve been giving at Baby showers (along with another gift since books aren’t very appreciated anymore). My hope is to get them to at least think about their parenting. I wish someone would have given me one when I started.

    Berean Wife


  2. Unfortunately, Tedd Tripp promotes infant spanking and other unsavory things in this book.

    I suppose that if it is the only alternative that people will contemplate to the likes of Michael Pearl, then you could recommend it.

    But really, you are responsible for the emotional, physical and sexual damage you may do to your children because of this kind of advice.

    Christians come across as dense when they keep promoting spanking while the Internet teems with spanking fetishists.

    Where do you think all those people come from? Mars?

    Just keep in mind that you may be perversely harming your child for life in the name of God.


  3. Um, Nica, please tell me that you’re kidding.

    You’re equating the Biblical practice of child rearing with the perversity of “spanking fetishes?”

    When faced with choosing God and His principles and commandments over that of the ever-changing, pop-psychology “wisdom” of the world, I’ll take the former any day.

    – The Pilgrim

    P.S. And if saying, “Christians come across as dense . . .” (for not only believing the Bible but following its commands) is supposed to make us reel back, and be offended, I assure you that we get called a lot worse for actually striving to follow the commands of God by those within the church. If you don’t believe me, stick around this blog for a while.


  4. Nica,

    Please cite the page number you’re referencing wherein “Tedd Tripp promotes infant spanking” in his book and kindly provide some examples of what “other unsavory things” you’re objecting to. It’s difficult to address your concerns when you paint with such a broad brush.

    Would you say that you’re a born-again Christian, Nica?

    In Christ,


  5. Page 154 of Tedd Tripp’s book: “When your child is old enough to resist your directives, he is old enough to be disciplined. Rebellion can be something as simple as an infant struggling against a diaper change or stiffening out his body when you want him to sit on your lap. When our oldest child was approximately 8 months old, we were confronted with parenting our first mobile child. We had a bookshelf constructed of boards and bricks. Fearing the shelf would fall on him, Margy told him not to pull himself up by the shelf. After moving him away from the shelf, she left the room. As she peeked in on him, she observed him surveying the room. Not seeing her, he headed back toward the forbidden bookshelf. Here was a young child, not yet able to walk or to talk, looking to see if the coast was clear so he could disobey. Obviously, he was old enough to be disciplined.”

    Here is a letter by Beth Fenimore. Enjoy:
    One aspect of receiving a Roy Lessin spanking is the sexual aspect. It’s taken me years to even begin to allow myself to speak of this aspect. You see, as a child I had no idea what sex was. I just had this funny sensation that came and went during the Roy Lessin spanking ritual. To my great dismay, I learned that sexual stimulation can be cross-wired with the painful ritual of spankings. This cross-wiring was a real problem for me. Because I couldn’t cope with the double message of love and pain, I avoided developing an intimate relationship with a man for a very long time. It took years for me to find a healthy sexuality outside the memories I have of the Roy Lessin spankings. I struggled with this double message as a child. I feel a deep sense of shame as I remember hitting and torturing my dolls and Barbies when no one was around. I needed some way to express the fear, pain, and sexual confusion I felt inside; yet my childish mind couldn’t comprehend the significance of what I was doing.

    Pilgrim, I hope you enjoy being “right” as countless innocent people suffer the permanent consequences of your theology.
    What arrogance.


  6. Nica,

    Real arrogance is rejecting the clear admonition of the Word of God in favor of the vain imaginings and traditions of sinful men.

    The Pilgrim isn’t promoting “his theology” by presenting Ted Tripp’s book for review, he’s…well…presenting Ted Tripp’s book for review, period. And one more thing, Ted Tripp isn’t Roy Lessin.

    In closing I’d simply ask you one simple question, have you actually read Ted Tripp’s book? I have and it is a very balanced treatment on raising children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and preparing their heart with His Word. Discipline is but one facet of the process of Godly child-rearing which Tripp presents in a fully-orbed and Biblical manner. The fact that you picked out one paragraph and then slammed the entire book, and the whole concept of corporal punishment by equating it with a strange fetish that you dug up from the internet tells me a lot more about you and your obvious bias and lack of balance and objectivity than it does about the material you’ve criticized.

    In Christ,


  7. Could anyone tell, me what are the basic differences between Roy Lessin and Tedd Trip? I have a friend who was aking about Tedd Trip’s methods, which I know very little about, and I was just wondering how much they are similar to Roy Lessin’s. On the face of it they sound pretty similar to me.


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