Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Matters of the Heart

I once asked a veteran home school mother "What is the most important thing you have learned, now that you have graduated your four children from your home school?" She pondered my question and answered thoughtfully, "Many times I focused more on my children's behavior and character, than on their heart. So I would say learning to emphasize the importance of what is going on in the heart of my children versus trying to address only symptoms, which are behavior and character." Her response was a golden nugget of wisdom the Lord dropped along my mothering path that I will never forget.

Knowing that man can only see the outward appearance and only the Lord can truly know a person's heart (I Samuel 16:7) - I made it a consistent and intentional part of my parenting to beseech the Lord for His wisdom. I knew I needed His wisdom to give me insight into the hearts of my children in order to best guide, teach, correct, encourage, and affirm each one.

The current parenting trend is to address behavior only, or to over teach character. While these are an important part of parenting, alone they do not adequately deal with the "root" of a persistant issue a child is manifesting. The heart is where the root of any behavior and character issues lie. The responsibility of addressing such issues falls squarely on the shoulders of parents. This is a God-sized parenting assignment, and is not for the faint-hearted, or those that are easily intimidated. Jesus said that what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart. Only the Lord has the power to affect change in the heart of a person, and the Lord is faithful to hear and move on behalf of His humble and seeking people. So as parents we must intentionally and consistently seek such a posture before the Lord. Will you and I take the time?

Lesson for Life: God always knows what is going on in the heart of my child, even when I don't. Don't give up and give in to popular culture that says "It's a phase, it will pass...", this is a partial truth. Our children will go through phases, but it is our responsibility as parents to teach our children "wisdom's way" through these "phases". Seek Him for the answers of how to pray, respond, teach, affirm, and correct (Jer 33:3).


  1. I think that to seek the Lord on what is at the heart requires us to not be "reactionary" in our parenting style. That is my challenge. A verse that always comes back to me is the one about anger. "Anger never leads to righteousness". When you can tap into the heart it makes those disciplinary moments so precious.

    Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Yep...rules without relationships equal rebellion. Especially in a home school environment when we're with them 24/7

  3. Question: "Where did you get the 'archive' button that hides it all?" I really like that.


So ... how about you?