From the Heart

 Encouragement for Parents of Teenagers 695x181


From the Heart

Good Behavior

good behavior gold starMost parents want their children to do what is right and they often end up with the goal of controlling, directing, guiding the behavior of their children. Christian parents would have to admit that behavior is really important because God calls us to be holy and act differently than the world around us.

However, it is the thoughts and motives in our hearts that ultimately shapes our responses and behavior. God’s Word clearly teaches that the heart is the center of our lives and that our actions (service) should come from our hearts. If we focus all our time and effort on directing or changing the behavior of our teenagers and miss their hearts, we may see young adults who do not follow the Lord the rest of their lives. Simply teaching our children “sin is bad, don’t do it” will create temporary or shallow changes that are not attached to the roots of the heart.

“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,”
Deuteronomy 10:12 (ESV)

Shepherding the Heart

drawn_heartOur ultimate goal in Christian parenting should be to know, understand, and shepherd the hearts of our children. What does this mean or look like? A shepherd is concerned with his sheep and their well-being. He is not worried about how his sheep look to others or how much time and effort it takes to care for his sheep. He protects them and he feeds and nourishes them. He guides them to safety and goes after them when they stray. As “shepherds” of our children, we should see ourselves as their primary teachers and guides. We will want to know our children well and seek to understand why they are behaving, thinking, and reacting the way they are. While we want to see outward obedience, our focus will be on what is going on in their hearts and leading them to God, instead of merely punishing bad behavior and “teaching” them a lesson. If we help them and model for them how to know God and desire to glorify Him, the right actions will follow.

I’m praying for you! Let me know how I can help or better serve you and your family.

in HIS service,

Pastor Mark

P.S. The themes and main ideas come from Paul David Tripp’s book “Age of Opportunity”. I’m summarizing what I read, adding my own thoughts and Scripture too.

You can read past posts on our church website HERE.