I've slowed down in my reading what with the Yorkshire Evangelical Ministry assembly and some other bits and pieces. However, I've read chapter 9 and will finish 10 tomorrow.
Chapter 9 turns to the business of Fatherhood and particularly the need for Father's to be disciplining their children, keeping them from the influences of sin and seeking to win their hearts and lead them to Christ. A really helpful distinction is drawn between seeking good behaviour and seeking our children's hearts. (Prov 4:23) Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life." How often do I, do we, aim for our child's hearts?
How do we aim for the hearts of our children? It is by giving them our hearts in dedication, love, patience, grace and mercy. Phillips then gives four ways to reach a child's heart; 1. Read - leading the family in devotions. 2. Pray - we need to pray for them , let them hear us pray and ask them to pray for us. 3. Work - work with them on schoolwork and chores. 4. Play - take an interest and involve myself in what they love, as well as sharing with them what we love to do.
All this plays out in time committed to our children. It is a good chapter and the focus on winning your child's heart is particularly helpful. One thing I would have loved to have had drawn out a little more is the difference in the way we do that as children grow and change. How is it different with a toddler than a 5-10 year old, and what about with a teenager?