Recently I began reading a book by Tedd Tripp, it is called Shepherding a Child's Heart. Rather you have small children or teenagers, I recommend reading this book. I don't agree with everything he says, but there are a lot of insights into how to reach your children and teach them about God as they grow. I am always open to new ideas on how to give my kids knowledge that will last a lifetime. I am always looking for ways to become closer to my children, ways to communicate and ways to teach them in a way that will give them a deeper understanding of things. Tedd shows in this book that the things your child does and says flows from the heart. He refers to Luke 6:45 that says "A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." It is important that we remember what goes in, will come out. We have to think about what we let our children watch and hear. Over the last year, my husband and I have cut back on the amount of television our family watches and electronics our children use, and when they are allowed to do these activities, we make sure it is wholesome shows or movies we watch and that the games or internet usage will not be a negative influence on them.
One of our favorite movies is "Facing the Giants", in that movie the coach makes a statement that now hangs on our wall. He says "Your attitude is the aroma of your heart, if your attitude stinks, your heart is not right". I believe this statement is 100% true. It goes right along with the verse in Luke. We must keep our hearts pure and clean in order to have a good attitude. If you find yourself dealing with a lot of issues in your home, you probably have a heart issue. It is important to get to the root of the issue. If you want to see a change in your children, you must get to the heart of the matter. You must see what the deeper problem is in order to solve the issue instead of just putting a bandaid on the surface problem. Take it from a mom of 6 very different children, they each have issues we deal with everyday, but when we sit down and get to the root of what is going on, we see a long term change in them, not just a short lived adjustment. We keep a very open and honest relationship with our kids. We allow them to talk to us without fear of being scolded or reprimanded. We give them the chance to voice their feelings as long as they do it in a respectful way. It is very important to let your children know their opinions and voice is important to you. God has opened up many opportunities to teach our children during these conversations. Always take every opportunity you are given to shepherd your child's heart!!!!