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You won't always be There - Issue 244
March 30, 2012
|Hi there! ....
This week Wouldn’t you know it – I was all organised, had my lesson plans all typed up and the kids were sick all week! We did nothing in terms of my plans. Nomi who was the only well one, managed to keep her independent studies happening but other than that we read, watched a few movies and did a lot of nothing as bodies rested.
Today is the day of the Variety Show that Naomi and Daniel have been working towards with the community drama group. We are just hoping (and praying) Daniel’s voice will hold out and he won’t get coughing fits as he projects his voice. No doubt I’ll blog about it next week.
Live life with your kids!
If you are an Australian reader I would appreciate you reading this special request.
You won't always be there
One of the goals that parents have is that our children will have a love for God and his ways of their own accord. We want for our children to have what it takes in their hearts so that they will do the right thing whether we are there or not.
Recently we were talking about a memory verse with the kids: James 1:22 “Do not merely listen to the Word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
My daughter, Jessica, connected this verse to Psalm 119:11 ”I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Her comment here was that the whole idea of having God’s word in our heart is doing it – if it is there, we will act upon it. There is no other way.
She is so right. Our heart is not just a warehouse or library for God’s word – our heart is the very essence that directs our decisions, our passions, our will. Whatever is in our heart will determine our way – that is how we are made.
If you have selfishness in your heart – your actions will show it. If you have love in your heart – your actions will show it.
I have often asked my children – what is in your heart at the moment? They have to pause and consider. I get them to think on this because I want them to know that there is a cause for their actions – that their actions aren’t just mindless reactions and therefore they can avoid responsibility but rather quite the opposite – their actions are a direct consequence of what is in their heart.
I often ponder over the phrase “have your child’s heart” – what does it mean. I wonder if we shouldn’t be more concerned that God has our child’s heart. I reflect on the phrase that is said of David “a man after God’s own heart”. David’s heart reflected God’s heart. David’s desire was to please God, to glorify him, to love, serve and worship him. Is that our heart? Is our heart reflecting God’s heart? Does our child’s heart reflect God’s heart? Are the things that are important to God, important to us?
This is the key as we think to the years ahead (or may be if you have teenage kids you are already thinking these things!) How will our child respond in situations when we are not there?
Unless they have a heart for God they will respond to circumstance from a selfish motivation.
Though we have no control over our children’s hearts – it is their heart, they make their choices – we do have the opportunity to teach and train their hearts. The environment we set around our children gives them an opportunity to:
The inner Heart is like a muscle – it gets stronger with exercise. When your children step outside of your house – whether it is for a friend’s birthday party, or an 18 year old heading off to university – will they step out with a strong, well developed Heart muscle – a heart that is firmly established in choosing God.
Unless we get them to practice choosing God, while they are in our home, they will not be able to choose God at other times (unless God’s grace steps in). What does this look like? Here are a few examples:
Put off your old self (Eph 4) – lying, anger, stealing, corrupt & evil words, bitterness, wrath, malice, brawling and slander. These are relationship issues and living within a family gives us plenty of practice to put aside our sinful nature and instead be imitators of God (Eph 5:1)
Love one another. There are many verses that encourage us to love one another. Our children need to love, serve, honour, forgive each other – sibling to sibling. This will give their heart practice to love, serve, honour and forgive others outside of the home.
The family is the training ground for learning to love God with our whole heart, mind and soul, and to learn to love our neighbour as ourself. But if we only give them a list of family rules, good manners and character traits we have missed it. We need to first of all introduce Jesus, and help them love him more and more each day – from that will spring all manner of life!
I have no greater joy
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