In our first Family Legacy Workshop, now over 6 weeks ago, we talked about spiritual safety. One thing we explored was how spiritual safety protects our heart. And one of our assignments as parents (or any adult who relates to kids), is to protect the hearts of our children.
Our heart is that special place within us which is the source for so many things… It’s the primary place from which we’re commanded to love the Lord (Duet 6:5) and to serve Him (Joshua 22:5); it’s that part of us that the Lord looks at to see if we’re following Him (1 Samuel 13:14) and searches to make sure we’re on the right path (1 Samuel 16:7, Psalm 15:10); it’s where we store the word of the Lord (Duet 11:18, Psalm 119:11); it’s where we make music to the Lord (Ephesians 5:19); and it’s where that which we treasure most is reflected (Mt 6:21).
So, how do we help protect this most precious part of our kiddos?
If we were talking about their physical heart, that muscle in their chest that pumps blood throughout their body, we might say things like… making sure they don’t eat foods high in cholesterol, sodium, or fatty acids… making sure they get enough exercise… making sure they get a good night’s sleep… etc.
It’s no different, really, when talking about their spiritual heart. We provide spiritual safety for their heart in much the same way we would provide for the physical safety of their heart: making sure that they are not exposed to spiritual elements that are negative, judgmental, self-serving, or otherwise unhealthy… making sure they engage regularly in reading and understanding God’s word… making sure they spend time in God’s presence through prayer or corporate worship and fellowship… etc.
A healthy “exercise” regimen of reading and studying God’s word is important, as is finding “rest” in His presence, through prayer, worship and fellowship… but “we are what we eat”, and kids are great mimickers of what they see and hear around them! And have you noticed how quickly they pick up on things…?
So, what can we do to protect the “diet” our kids are exposed to? I know you guys do a great job with setting a good example for your kids… I know I do with mine! But, we’re human, and we slip up, and we maybe say things we shouldn’t, or talk about things in a way that may not be what we’re actually trying to teach our kids…
We don’t want to teach them to be self-serving… but we complain when things don’t go our way. We don’t want to teach them to be judgmental… but we talk about someone in a disparaging way. We don’t want to teach them to be dishonest… but we tell someone one thing, when our kids know it was really something else.
So, this week, as we celebrate the atoning work of Jesus’ death for our sins and how we find new life in His resurrection, let’s remember to “put off your old self… and to put on the new self…” (Ephesians 3:22-24) and make sure that in all ways and at all times we are setting an example for our kids that we would be proud of them to follow!
And I know the Lord is proud of you as you continue to build a heritage of faith in Him for your family!