“What’s in the heart comes out.”
This statement is true, but I always hated hearing it.
Because people often use it in a judging way.
They look at something in someone’s life that they disagree with and proclaim: “Well, what’s in the heart shows on the outside.”
I wish I could explain to you how much this infuriates me. Just because I don’t agree with someone, doesn’t mean they are wrong.
With that said, I will also be the the first person to tell you that I don’t think the christian walk is half as complicated as we try to make it.
While I believe that God might convict people differently on some things, I still think the ‘what’s wrong for me, might be ok for you’ mentality is way overused.
It simply doesn’t make sense.
Why would God bless one person and curse another for the exact same thing?
Ok, back to the original topic…
“We must break their will.”
This is a phrase thats often used in reference to raising children, and I wholeheartedly agreed with it at one point in my life.
It sounds right.
We as parents need to bring our children into submission. We need to teach them to obey us without question.
We need to break their wills so they learn to give up and be obedient the first time we tell them without asking why.
What if we teach them submission without breaking their wills?
What if we allow them to ask why?
What if we tame their hearts and watch their bodies follow, rather then forcing their bodies into submission and letting their hearts unguarded for the devil to plant whatever he wants.
I feel like I need to backtrack a bit here…
Have you ever wondered why the most rebellious teenagers often have the strictest parents?
Or how about the person who wears the right cloths and uses the right ‘christian’ phrases, all while hiding some dark sexual sin. The percentage of pastors (conservative and nonconservative) who fall into this category is staggering.
Because they have learned the art of bringing the physical into obedience, but have left the heart untamed.
On the other hand, if we tame the heart, the body will follow.
There’s parents who ask their child to obey once, after that comes punishment. I admired this because it definitely creates a well behaved child.
Now, I question this.
I don’t think this tactic is necessarily wrong, but I think it can be.
If we raise our kids this way are we still reaching their hearts?
I think we can still reach their hearts this way but I think theres also a very strong possibility that we are keeping the flesh in line without reaching their hearts.
Kenzie is very strong-willed, so we must break her will.
No we don’t need to.
What we need to do is construct and direct that will. The devil would love to take her ‘fight’ and her passion and use it against God and his kingdom.
However, we as her parents can, with God’s help and through the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ direct that fire that she carries into something good. We can fuel it to burn with a powerful intensity to farther God’s kingdom, to speak out against evil, to break through strongholds, to make a difference in this sin filled world.
No, we definitely don’t want to break her will.
She needs it.
She can use it to change things, and it will also carry her through hard times.
If she’s told to do something she asks why and if she’s told not to do something she asks why not.
So our job is to teach her complete submission to authority without question.
Nope, wrong again.
Do we really want her to grow up to be a blind follower, or do we want her to grow up to ask questions before making a decision?
(BTW we still need to teach our kids respect and that we the parents are in charge.)
If we allow her to ask questions and then take the time to explain to her why…
Won’t that help her step out into this world with a bit of knowledge standing between her and the temptations that will be thrown her way? Instead of having her reach that step still asking why and then finding answers through ungodly sources?
We can’t shield our children from the world forever, so we might as well equip them to live in it.
Each day holds many opportunities for us to teach our children about Jesus, but in the busyness of life we often miss them, so maybe the many ‘whys’ of a child are a reminder from God to…
And take a moment to look into their eyes, see their hearts, remember that we are raising them to be disciples of Jesus and make the most of every moment to teach them and to demonstrate the love of Jesus to them.
Religion is another great example where the physical is contained but the heart runs wild.
Religion says you must do this and this and this and this and this before you can be saved.
Oh and don’t for get about THIS or you definitely don’t stand a chance!
Man made church rules = religion almost every single time.
If Jesus didn’t say it and the Bible doesn’t back it up…
It holds no weight!
The only thing it holds is a very strong possibility of becoming something you cling to as a way of ensuring your salvation.
Which isn’t possible…
For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith; and this is not of ourselves, it is a gift from God. Ephesians 2:8
So forget about controlling the physical, it isn’t worth your time.
Instead ask Jesus to search your heart and to bring to light the things that are hidden there that are ugly, damaging and a hindrance to your walk with him.
Ask him to help you get rid of all unnecessary baggage, ask him for transformation in your heart.
As your heart changes, I promise you, the outside will change as well.
I can also promise you that this outward transformation looks nothing like most people expect it to look because its not an earthly transformation but an out of this world transformation (literally).
People may be disappointed but that’s ok because we answer to God not man.
So, instead of focusing on the outward appearance of yourself and others (their christian act, their talk, dress etc).
I dare you…
To really, truly see their hearts.
To see them through the eyes of Jesus instead of through the eyes of the world.