“All humans have a Godward orientation. . . . Children are worshipers. Either they worship Jehovah or idols.” “He is wither worshiping and serving and growing in understanding of the implications of who God is, or he is seeking to make sense of life without a relationship with God. . . . Part of the parent’s task is to shepherd him as a creature who worships, pointing him to the One who alone is worthy of his worship.”
“Since it is the Godward orientation of your child’s heart that determines his response to life, you may never conclude that his problems are simply a lack of maturity. Selfishness is not outgrown. Rebellion against authority is not outgrown. These things are not outgrown because they are not reflective of immaturity but rather of the idolatry of your child’s heart.”
- Tedd Tripp, Shepherding a Child's Heart, 19, 21-23.
This last paragraph was especially striking to me. I so often hear the hope of parents that their self-centered children will one day "grow out of it." A brief observations of adults would quickly dash this hope. The only real progress with adults is that they learn to put up a good front, being more shrewd and socially acceptable with their selfishness.