In the midst of the busyness of parenting, it is easier for us to focus more on rules, regulations, and discipline, than it is to slow down and work towards the goal of reaching our child’s heart. The heart is repeatedly emphasized throughout Scripture, however, and if we can reach the heart of our child with the truths of God’s Word, this will go way further towards their living godly lives than any quick rule or disciplinary action ever could. After all, heart transformation is what we are after – not mere behavior modification.
In order to reach hearts, people need to feel as if you understand them, can relate to them, and struggle as they do. Unfortunately, though, we moms sometimes believe the lie that we are to be perfect. Rather than being called to be perfect moms, however, we have been called to point our children to the perfect Savior, a Savior mommy needs just as much as her children do! Our kids need to see that humility in us, and even as we exercise proper authority in their lives, we need to make a conscious effort to do so with humility, grace, and love.
In order to reach the hearts of our children, it is necessary that we do what it takes to build relationship, love and trust. In order to cultivate those things, we likewise have to be present with our kids as often as possible and available to answer their questions, hear their concerns, and address issues that arise. We also have to be – and this one is a struggle for me! – willing to be “interrupted”.
While our world should not revolve around our children and our relationship with God and then our husband should come before our little ones, nevertheless, our children do need to feel prioritized in the midst of our busy days. If they don’t, it will be nearly impossible for them to want to give us their hearts (Proverbs 23:26).
I don’t know about you, but it is so easy for me to get incredibly frustrated and angry over my children not obeying or listening to me. That’s when I have to remember the words of Romans 2:4 that it is God’s kindness that leads to our repentance. Not His beating us over the head with our sin, or His yelling at us when we fail again.
No! It is His kindness that leads to our repentance. We would do well to keep this in mind as mothers who desire to reach the hearts of our children. We need to be keeping the gospel at the forefront of all our parenting endeavors, and this is a wonderful way to do that.
Here is where we come to the sobering and final point. It is not guaranteed that we will keep the hearts of our children. Ultimately, we cannot do anything in and of ourselves to reach and keep their hearts. We can do our part of loving them, cultivating a relationship, being humble, and pointing them to the Lord, but the results are God’s. As we are told in 1 Corinthians 3:7, “So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.”
Your desire to reach your child’s heart is a good one, sweet mama. Though it may seem an impossible feat, all things are possible with God. Keep your eyes fixed on Him, from whence comes your help.
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