Written by: Kristin Broussard-Jones (www.learningtyler.com)
In order to teach your children to listen to and obey the promptings of their heart, you must first have your child’s heart. This concept of having your children’s heart is complex .
Prov. 4:23 says “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and guard it above everything else, for everything you do flows from it.”
Prov. 4:20, 21 says, “My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart.
Prov.2:1-2, 5 says,” My son, if you will receive my sayings, and treasure my commandments within you, make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding….Then you will discern the fear of the Lord And discover the knowledge of God.”
Prov. 4:4 says, (Instruction from a father to a son), “Then he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; Keep my commandments and live;”
If you notice in all the passages, the purpose of gaining your children’s hearts, of teaching them to listen to their parent’s instruction, is to teach them the fear of the Lord. You teach them to have a relationship with you so that you can teach them to have a relationship with God.
Gaining our children’s hearts should be your main goal in raising them. Your focus should not primarily be on their education or the things you want to experience with them, but it should be on relationship with God and others and on building their character. Everything else will fall in line.
Having their hearts means although they may not like your decisions or choices for them, they know that you have their best interest in mind. It means they come to you with questions and problems instead of turning to their peers.
A parent who is paying attention will know if they have their child’s heart. We are to have a whole heart for God, and we need our children’s hearts to lead them to giving their whole heart to God.
If we are more attentive to our children’s hearts, focusing on praising them for good character, then they will be more inclined to do what is right and good. Then, when they mess up, they are willing to accept correction because they know you love them and want what is best for them.
We are all wired for love. One way we show our children how much we love them is by listening to them and showing them we understand them and care about how they feel.
Your heart checks in with your brain to verify the accuracy and integrity of your thoughts! A lot of people overlook what their heart is saying and then their heart becomes hardened. Again I remind you of this verse in Prov. 4:23. “Keep and guard your hearts with all vigilance and guard it above everything else, for everything you do flows from it.”
As I mentioned earlier, we were designed to think deeply and to meditate on healthy thoughts because we were wired for love. Your heart is the checkpoint for all emotions. It goes without saying that we want our children to have healthy emotions. This starts with healthy thinking and training their hearts will teach them how to think. Too many people do not pay attention to what their heart is saying. They get used to overlooking what their heart is telling them, to the point where their heart becomes hard. This could possibly be the meaning behind what the Bible calls the “hardening of the heart”. On a scientific note, it has been observed in some cases of open heart surgery, that the heart has formed scar tissue, causing it to become hardened and less pliable to pump blood.
Training our children’s hearts is training them how to think, and we all know that behavior follows our thoughts. Our behavior is the house we build and put on display for everyone to see.
The word “heart” is mentioned almost nine hundred times in the Bible. Proverbs 14:30 says, “A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones.” So we can see by this that the health of our heart and mind even affects our physical bodies.
Capturing a child’s heart is an ongoing process and I don’t believe that we are ever finished winning our children’s heart. Just like any relationship, it takes consistent, diligent work but the rewards are beyond measure.
More later on the “The Signs that Reveal You have Your Child’s Heart” and “Raising Children with Healthy Emotions”