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A Framework to Shape Your Child’s Heart
The studies and statistics have proven time and time again that involved dads have a positive influence over their children—the key word being, involved.
The average dad can influence their children in a number of ways. One chance to do that is to listen to them.
Luke 6:45 reminds us that the mouth speaks out of the abundance of the heart. Take notice of what is coming out of their mouth, then use that as a springboard to shape their heart according to the Word.
One time, our family went through a season that left everyone feeling stretched. We could tell our children were negatively affected since they were walking around like someone stole all the candy on earth.
On the upside, it became a wonderful opportunity to shape our children’s hearts. My husband and I talked about what we saw to be the problem after the boys had verbalized their frustrations, and we planned to talk to them the next day.
First, my husband taught them from the Word, addressing heart issues and explaining what God would have us to do instead. Then I decided that we needed to have some fun family time. We played the Sorry game. It’s a great way to put love and selflessness into practice! 😉
Relationships are difficult; they take work. The family unit who exists by sulking is merely surviving, but the family that addresses matters of the heart with the Word will thrive. I hope this post will help families as we choose to sow the Word and reap blessing and life.
Impart These Virtues to Your Kids
My husband taught our kids from a few scriptures emphasizing three key principles. Here’s a framework for you to build upon when imparting virtues into your kids:
If there is anything we could teach, it’s love. Jesus commanded us to love one another.
This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. John 15:12 NLT
How do we do that? First, love is a choice. Next, teach your child that when we love one another, it means we are putting the other person first. When we love each other, the world will see that we belong to Jesus (John 13:34-35).
Peace is wonderful, right? My husband makes it a conviction to live by the instructions found in Ephesians 4:2-3.
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. Ephesians 4:2-3 NLT
How can we practice this? Teach the children that when a disagreement arises among them, endeavor to keep the peace. Work diligently at it. Instead of arguing, teach them to choose to be a peacemaker.
Verse two admonishes us to forbear one another in love. Explain to them that means we put up with the other person’s annoyances.
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As an only child, my husband is often asking me, “Can’t they all just get along?” We all know that kids are naturally selfish. An example of a selfish squabble between your kids is probably not far from your mind. One kid wants to do one thing, the next wants to play something different. Or slightly different. Or not just exactly how they want it to be played.
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
Philippians 2:3-4 NLT
How do we teach that to them? In that instance, tell them to ask the question, “Is that selfish? Or selfless?” Selflessness can be a huge concept, but it all starts with making them aware.
After reading this, it might seem fruitless to even try. Remember the Word is like a seed. Plant it in their hearts and allow God to water it and bring fruit from it (1 Cor. 3:7).
Disclaimer: our kids are by no means perfect, and we aren’t claiming to have all the answers. But we will make every effort to be faithful in training them according to the wisdom found in the Word of God.
Pause for a moment and think about what has been coming out of your kids’ mouths (or your own!). Identify if it lines up with Scripture. If you aren’t sure, try a keyword search through one of the links on my Bible Studying page. What verses could be applied?
Your kids and grandkids are the next generation. Why should you impart virtues into them? You know them probably better than anyone else. You see what their struggles are. When an area they need instruction in is evident to you, then prepare to teach them (Deut. 11:19). Grab the Imparting Virtues lesson from this post, for free.
Go to God in prayer. Go to the Word. Go to the other free Imparting Virtues lessons. 😉
Kelly R. Baker is a Bible study teacher, writer, mentor, and the founder of the Blogger Voices Network. She serves with her husband in leading the worship ministry at their church. You will probably find her sneaking a bite (or more) of organic dark chocolate in between wrangling her four kids. Her greatest passion is helping women thrive in Christ. Connect with her at http://www.kellyrbaker.com.