Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Heart #6: Bad Character

We are learning as we parent just how full of sin our hearts are. Though we are starting to address it in our kids, God is drawing out our hearts and it's been beautiful. I shared in this series how change comes from the heart, outward and we use many ways to help our kids see their sin and also know Jesus who loves us and draws His own out  of sin and gives us new hearts to love Him. Read these posts about 1) our hearts, 2)  how parents can choose ease instead of heart training, 3) questions to draw out the heart, 4) when to go the next step beyond questions, and 5) what our correction process looks like.

We are not hopeless in sin. We are confident that God changes hearts and brings freedom. So that is what we teach. We teach it from His Word and through our daily actions and conversations.
"And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules."- Ezekiel 36:26-27 

Not all sin is outright disobedience against us. If Jimmy takes a friend's toy, he wasn't disobeying a command we gave him. Paul Tripp taught us that he's making bad choices because he has bad character. So we don't go through our correction process with him for bad character. Instead, we address it in questions. Sometimes the 5 questions mentioned before are helpful. But lately, we've been introducing two new questions to dig deeper:
1) Right now, what's important to you?
2) What should be important to you?

We're using these to start deeper conversations with him now as he is getting a bit older. Now we want him to start understanding heart worship. We want him to see that we are always worshiping someone/something. Either God or idols. We can start with these questions to show him the idols of his heart, so he can identify them and trust God for those areas of his heart. He is learning to pray for specific areas of his life!
-If he took a toy from a friend, we ask these questions to help him see his sin- maybe a desire to have more for himself, or control, etc...  
-Or when he does things he knows he shouldn't do because a friend wanted to, these questions can bring out that he desires acceptance from others (fear of man) instead of honoring God. 

This is what Andy and I do daily ourselves. God shows us areas of our lives that we are holding as more important than Him so he can free us to abundant life in Him alone.  We are beginning to train Jimmy for a lifetime of learning to see his own sin and trust God for forgiveness and freedom. 

So we also share our own idols and sin issues with him and pray together for him and us. We read what the Bible says about some of our constant battles in sin and read again and again how Christ came to pay for our sin and now forgives us as we ask and frees us in Him. 

We're seeking God together through His Word and prayer. This is not about obedience for the sake of obedience. This is about exposing our hearts and training our kids up to know God and walk closely with Him joyfully all their days.

1 comment:

Diana said...

"So we also share our own idols and sin issues with him and pray together for him and us" and
"We're seeking God together through His Word and prayer. This is not about obedience for the sake of obedience."

Ginny these statements are both simple and profound. It is a struggle to train our children AND accept the fact that we need more work ourselves at the same time. I believe that it is important to illustrate our own weaknesses (within reason) to our children so that they can see how we refine and accept our training as well. It is very hard to listen to anyone when you believe that they don't understand your point of view. Coming to the same level opens up the gates of conversation and makes us more approachable to our kids.

Thanks for your insights :)