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Guard our Heart - Issue 322
November 08, 2013
Hi there! ....

This week we had our final homeschool co-op for the year. We went to the river edge and swam and played games in the water. What a great year we’ve had with focusing on physical skills for the younger groups and team building skills for the older group. All that’s left on our calendar is a party!

Our family has been enjoying the antics of a little puppy. I often sit early in the morning watching him play with anything he can get his teeth into – an empty pot, a palm fond, a cardboard box. He thinks he is such a great hunter! It is also a delight to see how Daniel has started to train him. We can now leave our door open without little Bandit making a dash for it!

This week the girls and I started swimming again. The weather has turned, and the build up for the Wet Season has started. We look forward to rains, thunderstorms and waterholes. We look forward to quieter times as farms, cattle stations and tourism in our town slow down. The wet season is a great time for family and friends – and a time to enjoy the great outdoors that God has created.

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Guard our Heart

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (NIV)

When the Bible talks about our heart, it is talking about our beliefs, character, our will, emotions and passions – and when we read that verse knowing that, we can see, yes, everything we do flows from what we believe, our character, our will, emotions and passions. Every issue of life will be affected by those things.

Another verse that tells us about the effect of what is in our heart – Luke 6:45, “A good man out of the treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

What is in our heart will affect our life, will direct our choices.

This verse describes what is in our heart as a treasure – something that is stored up, something that is put in there for another time. And wouldn’t you want to guard a treasure! I am sure treasure hunters fully check something out before they add it to their collection – is this truly treasure? Is this garbage? We don’t put just anything in our treasure chest.

Another analogy that I like to use with my kids when talking about the heart is that of appetite. We tend to talk about appetite in terms of food – we lose our appetite, our appetite gets out of control, we manage our appetite. But we have appetites for all sorts of things. People who seek out certain experiences we call that an appetite – an appetite for thrills, for adrenaline, for attention. Our appetites drive us – drive us to do certain things – whether it is to get more food, more work, more pleasure.

Appetites lead to habits – we are to establish healthy appetites. A friend of mine has been put on a fairly strict diet for health reasons though she is allowed the occasional treat. Due to the importance of that diet to her ongoing health she has been able to be strict with herself and manage and change her appetites. But when she allows herself a treat the craving for that food becomes stronger and stronger, even though she has done without it for a long time. This is the issue of appetite and it is the same for our hearts.

It is easy to dabble in something that isn’t healthy for our heart (to take a little ‘treat’) – we may toy with selfish desires, take a sneek-peek at something inappropriate, or allow stinkin’thinking to go on – when we do this our appetite for those things grows. We are to guard our appetites for what is true, honourable, right, lovely, pure (Phil 4:8). We are to feast on those things. We are to guard our heart against anything that would oppose those things.

To guard something is to not allow anything or anyone to damage, interfere with, steal or kill whatever it is we are guarding.

Not only are we to guard our own heart we are also to guard our children’s hearts while they are learning how to guard their heart for themselves. While they are young, while they are struggling, while they are searching we are to be there, guarding.

We can do that by

  • Being careful what we serve them, what we introduce to them
  • Filling their appetites with good things
  • Teaching them nutrition – teaching them what is good, what is bad to feed upon

Oh this is an overwhelming task at times!

Phil 4:6-7Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

It is the peace of God which will guard our heart. Seek it. Anxiety will mess with your heart – anxiety is an attack against the trust we have in Jesus. Here we are encouraged (or told) to not be anxious and to take everything (including our children’s hearts, our children’s appetites) to the Lord in prayer. God’s peace will guard my heart as I walk along side of my children.

Ultimately it is also the peace of God that will protect our children's hearts as well. Introduce your children to Jesus, help them to grow in their relationship with him, help them to take their anxieties to the Lord as well - as he desires to guard their heart even more than you do!

During the week I blog at Live Life with Your Kids! This week I've posted: and I've continue with my toddler series

Or maybe you'd like to read something from my website:

Check out other homeschool and parenting issues over at my website, Lifestyle Homeschool

My Bookshop

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 book/e-book - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.

Restoring the Heart, Mind and Soul of Christmas Do your Christmas celebrations line up with what you believe? Do your celebrations help your children learn more about Jesus?

This e-book is based on a workshop I held for a couple of years to help families see that Christmas can be a significant tradition in our family life. If we are intentional about how our family celebrates we have the opportunity to use this time to teach our children about Jesus, and his love for each one of us.

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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Live life with your Kids newsletter is about being a deliberate parent, about enjoying family life and using the opportunities that happen to teach and train your children in righteousness (right living with God). I hope that you will find regular encouragement as you live life with your kids!

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