Last week I mentioned that I am doing a book study on Shepherding a Child’s Heart with the ABC Jesus Loves Me/Our Out-of-Sync Life group. Today we are reading chapter 1 and I wanted to share some thoughts with you from the book.
As I read chapter 1, the thought that stood out to me the most was this:
You must learn to work from the behavior you see, back to the heart, exposing heart issues for your children. In short, you must learn to engage them, not just reprove them. Help them see the ways that they are trying to slake their souls’ thirst with that which cannot satisfy.
Wow, that hits home doesn’t it?
Read that last sentence again: “help them see the ways that they are trying to slake their souls’ thirst with that which cannot satisfy.” Ouch. I’m pretty sure I’m guilty of doing this as well. How do I help my children see this if I don’t start with examining my own heart? How many of my own actions and choices are because I am trying to satisfy my soul with things or people or actions when I should be going to God alone to satisfy those needs? When I put others down or criticize them, am I not doing so because I want to make myself feel better or perhaps because I am jealous or envious, instead of being content and thankful for what God has given me? When I get angry with my kids, isn’t it often because of my own self-centered attitude that wants things done my way and doesn’t want to be inconvenienced, rather than being patient and seeing these times as teachable moments?
I guess my take-away from Chapter 1, even though it is not expressly mentioned in the chapter, is that I need to start examining my own heart first before I can help my children examine theirs.