Lazy Dad just started preaching a sermon series on the things that lurk inside our hearts. You know, the ugly stuff that’s inside of us that we don’t really want anyone to know about? Yeah, that stuff.
His sermon reminded me that as a parent, raising our kids to be great adults is really all about parenting the heart. Because what’s inside a person’s heart is who they really are. Everything a person does comes from their heart, so why aren’t we more focused as parents on molding and shaping our kids’ hearts? And how do we go about doing that?
Well first of all, we need to teach our kids that it’s all about the heart by pointing out when it is! How can they know they have a “heart problem” if we aren’t showing them when they do?
Often I say to my kids things like, “When you hit your brother just now, that showed me what’s in your heart.” Or, “when you made that ugly face behind my back, all that did was show me what’s in your heart.”
My kids will often argue with me when I point out their “heart issues.” “But Mom!” they say, “he hit me first!” or, “He made me do it!”
“No, no one makes you do anything, you do what comes out of your heart.”
When we start to point out heart issues, our kids will begin to understand that everything they do is from the heart. And that what’s in our hearts is who we really are.
But hang on a second! It’s not just about our kids’ hearts here! It’s also about OUR hearts. *ouch*
Just the other night we were doing a lesson with our son and we were talking about the heart. I used myself as an example of a heart issue by saying, “When I yell or get snippy with you, what is that really showing you about mommy? What’s in my heart.”
I think it’s important that our kids see that mommy and daddy are also working on what’s in their hearts as well. It’s an ongoing process that takes a lot of work! Hearts don’t get molded and shaped overnight, it takes a lifetime. That’s why we should get a jump on it when our kids are young! So they can reap the benefits of it earlier than we may have!
The best book I’ve found on how to parent the heart is the Bible. It’s full of stories of people that had “heart issues” and how they either molded them or didn’t. And boy the stories really show the difference between the two!
But don’t think that since the Bible is a great tool to parent the heart with that that means your church is the one who’s responsible for teaching it to your children! Cause they aren’t. And while we’re on the subject, I’ve also noticed more and more schools teaching “character development” in their classrooms as well. It’s plain to see that a lot of parents have relegated this important part of parenting off on someone else, but ultimately parenting the heart is our responsibility.
What are some ways you parent your kids’ heart issues? I always love hearing what you do! Leave a comment below to share with us.