I was talking with my friend, Carol, about parenting as Christians. At our age, we are done with active parenting. We each have grandchildren who we love deeply and pray for consistently. We now look back on our own parenting and realize the mistakes we made and wish we had known then….what we know now.
But, that is just the point isn’t it?
We couldn’t know then what we know now, because we see differently from this end.
One thing we agreed on, we wouldn’t focus so much on the “little things”. We spent a lot of time making sure that our children DID certain things. Some of that was important, but now other things seem more significant.
Like our children’s hearts.
In the Bible dictionary it defines the heart as the “central or most vital part of something.” YES! That is what Carol and I realized was most important in Christian parenting – focusing on the heart.
- Where was my daughter’s heart when she pulled her sister’s hair?
- Where was my son’s heart when he laughed at his brother who fell?
- Where were their hearts when they excluded a younger sibling?
- Where were their hearts when they lied or blamed others for what they did?
45 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. Luke 6:45
It is the heart that matters.
Proverbs 4:23 says it so plainly –
23 Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.
A child’s words, tone of voice, and facial expressions are windows into their hearts. We must pay attention and strive to touch their hearts so they sense God’s unconditional love for them. That love is what will draw them unto Jesus. “For God so loved the world….” God has designed our hearts to desire relationship with Him. We can help our children open their hearts to God so their hearts are not hardened. Worship, Bible study, fellowship, and prayer will help hearts be open to God.
As a grandparent I am praying that God will guard their hearts from the fiery darts of the evil one. I must be an example of one who has a heart for God.
This prayer from Paul is my prayer for my grandchildren –
18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.
It’s the heart that matters.