Shepherding A Child's Heart

Let's take a familiar example from any home where there are two or more children. The children are playing and a fight breaks out over a particular toy. The classic response is "Who had it first?" This response misses heart issues. "Who had it first?" is an issue of justice. Justice operates in the favor of the child who was the quicker draw in getting the toy. If we look at this situation in terms of the heart, the issues change. Now you have two offenders. Both children are displaying a hardness of heart toward the other. Both are being selfish. Both children are saying, "I don't care about you or your happiness. I am only concerned about myself. I want this toy. My happiness depends on possessing it. I will have it and be happy regardless of what that means to you."1

I have spoken to countless parents who genuinely thought their unholy anger had a legitimate place in correction and discipline. They reasoned that they could bring their children to a sober fear of disobeying if they showed anger. So discipline became the time when Mom or Dad manipulated their children through raw displays of anger. What the child learns is the fear of man, not the fear of God.2

The most powerful way to keep your children from being attracted by the offers of camaraderie from the wicked is to make home an attractive place to be.3

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