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Teachable Heart - Issue 139
February 12, 2010
Hi there! ....

This week One of the highlights for me this week was my son Daniel taking me out for a milkshake/cup of tea. It was my idea so that he learns to look after a lady, to make orders and pay for them. We had a lovely time. A friend of mine taught her young boys to BBQ this week, another great skill for young men to have. So often mums baulk at teaching their sons these things thinking that Dad should be doing it, but I encourage you to take hold of any opportunity that comes your way and teach your boys the best you can. My husband teaches the boys many things and we wish he could teach them more, but for this season of our life they are at home with me for the most of the time, so I need to rise to the occasion and instead of wishing for it to be otherwise, do what I can do.

Live life with your kids!

A Teachable Heart

I had it in my mind that there was a scripture about having a teachable heart – I went looking for it this week and couldn’t find it. I’ve come to the conclusion that it is a phrase that is well used though not a quote from the Bible. defines teachable as:

  • capable of being instructed, as a person; docile
  • able and willing to learn: teachable youngsters

Docile – there’s a word we don’t use often, we may even see it as wishy-washy, namby-pamby! But how does the dictionary define it:

  • easily managed or handled; tractable: a docile horse
  • readily trained or taught; teachable

It seems to me that these are the very attitudes we want of our children. It makes sense – if they are to receive our instruction, they need to be capable of being instructed, able and willing to learn, readily trained or taught. This then leads to the idea that they will be able to receive instruction etc from God’s Word too (as we need to be).

Though the Bible doesn’t use the phrase “unteachable heart” the instruction is there none the less. The Bible paints these pictures:

  • The way of a fool is right in his own eyes – Proverbs 12:15
  • All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weighs the spirits – Proverbs 16:2
  • Every way of a man is right in his own eyes; but the Lord ponders the hearts – Proverbs21:2
  • The wise in heart will receive commandments; But a prating fool shall fall – Proverbs 10:8
  • When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise.– Proverbs 10:19
  • The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice – Proverbs 12:15
  • A wise son heeds his father's instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke – Proverbs 13:1
These verses describe a person (child or adult) who thinks what they are doing is right, who thinks they are without sin, who won’t listen to instruction, who keeps talking (probably defending themselves and arguing), who makes fun of instruction; a person who simply won’t listen.

Do you recognise these things in your children? It maybe a long term attitude or it may be only occasional. I’ve had these attitudes in our home when we are trying to learn math, or talk about life skills. It pops up every so often. What to do?

Proverbs 21:2 says “Every way of a man (child) is right in his own eyes; but the Lord ponders the heart.” God looks past the action and considers the heart (He doesn’t ignore the action, He just looks deeper). We tend to get annoyed at the action and react from that position. We need to consider the heart.

When our children are refusing to listen, what is going on in their heart and what can we do about it?

I believe these three traits are at the bottom of these attitudes:

  • Pride
  • Self Righteousness
  • Arrogance

What’s missing?

  • Humility – recognizing that I need other people in my life
  • Honesty – being truthful about my sin
  • Meekness – yielding to others, submitting myself

I have found the best thing to do when my children get “wise in their own eyes’, when they refuse to listen to instruction, is to give them space to think about their heart. They are sent to their rooms with the clear words – when your heart is ready to receive my words come and talk to me.

Pearls before swine is the image that comes to mind when I stand there and keep talking to them – nothing is going in, nothing is being received and I am just getting cross and frustrated, which builds into anger real quick (now I have an issue to deal with!) For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:20) Getting angry with our children will not produce a change of heart.

Then I will give them one heart
and I will put a new spirit within them
and take the stony heart out of their flesh
and give them a heart of flesh.
Ez 11:19

Our children need to have a change of heart.
We need to make sure that they get this opportunity.

Website Updates
I answer Theresa’s question - How do we implement discipleship homeschool with a large family? There are keys there for any family wanting to change the way they educate their children.

Live life with your Kids Blog Highlights This week I am still getting into the swing of a study routine so this week I blogged about the lessons I learnt along the way. I’m still tweaking things. My kids say the only routine around here is how often we change the routine! This week I was reminded about

Margin in my Day

Making plans when you have extra kids for the day

Handling Interruptions

Being over-stimulated and considering the whole week in my plans

Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.

Heart Focus Parenting - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.

My Sitemap is a quick reference to all you will find on Lifestyle-Homeschool. I encourage you to have a browse around!

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter I know homeschool mums are busy with lots to read, so I have divided my newsletter into four sections and you will receive one section a week; short but regular newsletters!
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  • Family Life – Spotlights on a particular aspect of family life so we can see the natural opportunities available to us in educating our children.
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