Shepherding a Child's Heart

(Barré) #1

Chapter 12
Embracing Biblical Methods: Appeal to the Conscience
It wasn’t a fast-paced program. Perhaps that is why it caught my
eye. It was late and my day had been fast-paced enough for me! I had
no appetite for the melodrama of someone else’s life. The man on the
TV spoke flatly. In a gently monotonous voice he explained his craft.
He was a painter. I came in while he was preparing the canvas.
(^) “You can’t just begin painting,” he droned. Before the color,
before the texture, before the hues and activity of the painting, the
artist puts a wash on the canvas. The wash is the background for all
the activity of the painting. The art presupposes the wash.
(^) This chapter is such a wash. The past several chapters discussed
communication and the rod. Two issues—appeal to the conscience
and focusing on God’s redemptive work—have been implied in our
consideration of communication and the rod. These issues give
biblical shape and structure to our parenting.
Appealing to the Conscience
(^) Your correction and discipline must find their mark in the
conscience of your son or daughter. God has given children a
reasoning capacity that distinguishes issues of right and wrong. Paul
reminds us that even those who do not have the law of God show that
its requirements are written on their hearts when they obey the law
(Romans 2:12–16). They either excuse or accuse themselves in their
thoughts because of their conscience.
(^) This God-given conscience is your ally in discipline and
correction. Your most powerful appeals will be those that smite the

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