Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp
Dr. Hartzler (My dean and favorite professor at Baptist Bible College) had all his graduate students read this book. As teachers in the Christian school dealing with discipline and heart issues goes hand in hand. Now, John and I are reading the book again as parents in a new Sunday School class. Last night we had to reread chapter one and look up lots of scripture verses. Here are some that really grabbed a hold of my own heart.
For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Being the wife of a martial artist we have several swords show cased throughout our house. John even brought his one from Korea (the real one!) to chapel one time and showed our Elementary Students and then did a demonstration for them. Afterwards, he shared with them how important it is for us to always be on our guard from the wiles of the devil. That it is so important to read, remember, and memorize God's Word. Not many students forgot to bring their Bibles to chapel after that message!
I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.
Whoa! There is just something so powerful to me about this verse. God is searching MY heart and testing MY mind. It shows you not only how much He loves us, but how diligent and careful He is as our Father to really want to know us and sees our motives. God "sees" our thoughts and knows why we do what we do, way better than we even think we know ourselves. He is so AMAZING! It also shows me how important it is to have a right heart attitude. Because I can be doing with my hands and words what I think is right, but have a lousy attitude or a wrong motive (maybe to get attention from others or to get a pat on the back).
Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it springs the issues of life.
This is so true. No matter what you say or do, your words and actions are directly related to what you are filling your heart/mind up with. This verse really convicts me to be on the look out for radio stations, television, music and books that I read and listen to because all types of subliminal messages are seaping into our system all day, and we do have a lot of control over what we allow "in". It's amazing how even a 30 second commercial or advertisement can fill your heart and mind with discontent. This verse reminds me that the world is going to get me "dirty" and I need to constantly clean myself up with the Word of God that does pierce through our hearts and has the power to change us.
Isn't is amazing how reading a book to teach you about parenting, really is teaching us about our own sinful hearts? That's why Dr. Hartzler always said, "A changed life changes lives." As parents and teachers we have such an awesome opportunity to share Christ and be the godly example He wants us to be for our children.
"These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me."
I don't know about you but I can be guilty of this verse and I've seen many "Christians" say they love God, go to church on Sunday, but their hearts are far from Him. I pray my children will never, ever even think..."she is a hypocrite!" I want to live out my faith. I know I will make mistakes, all parents do, but I want to be honest enough to say, "I am sorry kids, mommy made a mistake, isn't it wonderful that Jesus is faithful to cleanse us and forgive us?"
Please help John and I in this new Sunday School class. Help us to complete all the reading and homework, and teach us what you would have us learn about parenting and even our own heart issues. Help us to be good parents that are quick to listen and slow to get angry Lord. Help us to be good examples. Please soften Julia and Mark's heart even now at their young ages to be sensitive to your Word. I pray they trust in you at a young age and serve and love you with all their heart and soul.