The Three Driving Inner Needs

filed under: Miscellaneous on March 23, 2008

So we had a wonderful Easter.  We went to church and celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus Christ!  It was wonderful to have that fellowship.

But I have been struggling.  We have been struggling with Colton.  Its like if he gets two seconds to himself he is off and getting into something that he shouldn’t.  Or if he breaks a rule, and has to deal with consequences, he doesn’t care.  He just screams and yells and cries and continues to break rules and not listen.

I asked my dear husband, "What am I supposed to do?"  I am at my wits end.

Well, this weekend gave me an opportunity to see myself… that is, I saw my hubby get frustrated with Colton and yell at him just like I have, and I saw how hard that is on a young child.

I have read the book Grace Based Parenting, by Dr. Tim Kimmel, ( 

but actually picked it up as an afterthought tonight.  (Or was it a God thing??) It totally blew my mind.

Let me try to explain…

Right in the beginning of the book he (Dr. Kimmel) poses a question to the readers.

"What are the fundamental, driving inner needs that your child was born with?"

Uh.  What?  Um.  I don’t know.  I should know this right?  Think.  Think.  Think.  Uh…

Well most parents get a partial answer…which is love.  (Da!) The rest offer answers like food, clothing, shelter (physical needs, not driving inner needs) education (an intellectual need, but not a driving inner need) or salvation (not a driving inner need).

Have you thought of it yet? (I hadn’t either, but its pretty obvious; and if you have thought of it, Dr. Kimmel suggests you are on the right path to raising great kids. Great job!)

Wait.  Before I give you the answer, he points out one more thing.

One person knows what your child’s driving inner needs are.  Know who that is?


(Insert full body shudder here)

He knows exactly what drives our children, and is working overtime to meets those needs in counterfeit ways. Scary.

So raising up your children in a spiritual cocoon won’t help because satan operates inside it.  Plus, hes not the only one.  The world system and our children’s inner tendency towards selfishness can do a pretty good number on our efforts.

OK, so thats sobering stuff.  But heres the good part… we have to greatest force of good in the universe on our side.  Thats pretty encouraging.

Ok, ok, so I will tell you what the Three Driving Inner Needs are.

(now, for the drum-role)


1. A need for security.

2. A need for significance.

3. A need for strength.

Dr. Kimmel suggests that the way to meet these needs is by giving your children three valuable gifts: love, purpose, and hope.

So, if I’ve done my job right, my children should leave my home with a love that is secure, a purpose that is significant, and a hope that is strong.

OK, so his book continues to be amazing and insightful and offer many more great tips, so I encourage you to check it out if you have any parenting questions or issues like so many of us do.

I am so thankful to the Lord and His perfect timing and letting me come across this information now, just when I was starting to lose patience and grace.  If my children see a constant, sincere representation of grace in our home, I have such a great chance of raising great kids!!

Oh, and one other great point… Dr. Kimmel tells us to remember that even when your child is hardest to love, that is when you should love them most.  Because..remember this now… that is exactly how God parents us.

Yes, I will certainly repeat that.

Our Heavenly Father parents us with an unending supply of grace.

I can do that.  Right?  He he.

No, but I can sure try.

Blessings to you all today, you are in my prayers always.  Seriously.


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  • betty says:

    that is interesting, Amanda, I hadn’t heard of this book before; must be relatively “new” and my kids are 19/22 so I might have missed it along the way; I do hope it helps you with Colton 🙂

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