The True Essence of Shepherding Our Children


“Our Children don’t need a drill sergeant, they need a shepherd.”

Often times, the issue of child-training, is mistaken for something that is harsh and controlling. Like anything, something that is meant for good can become bad very quickly – thanks to our sinful nature. Balance is something that needs to be diligently sought after in the Christian life. All of us tend towards extremes in any and every area of our lives. Extremes seem to rear their ugly heads especially in the area of Christian parenting. With all of the hype of “grace” today in the parenting realm, we musn’t forget that grace and law go together. And they go beautifully together. Though I am one that needs to be daily  (almost hourly!) reminded to ere on the side of grace, law  ( i.e. “rules”, guidelines and training etc.) still has an important role to play. Grace and Law are not anything new. They are timeless wonders that have always been set before us in God’s Word and are wholly applicable for us in parenting therefore making God’s Word the perfect “parenting book.”  Just as grace points us to the fact that we need a Savior, so the Law helps to guide and shepherd us.

Matthew 9:36 reminds us of where we would be without a shepherd. “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” And what does a shepherd do but guide, tenderly care for and protect his sheep? This is a good way to look at training and grace. We train with grace, but if the shepherd sat idly by, his sheep would be at great risk for danger and even death. They are lost without their shepherd. Such a beautiful parallel pointing us to the true essence of parenting which is found only in the balance of grace and law.

I encourage you to listen to this short discussion on law and parenting with with Dr. Mike Emlet and Dr. Tim Lane from the CCEF ministry. Be encouraged, dear parent, as you model the beautiful balance of law and grace to your children. They will be blessed because of it.