Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 14 - Goodness

Today you have prayers for Goodness.
Brooke encourages us today by asking "What are you aiming for?  When your boys disobey, disrespect are unkind.  When they seek to understand what's important.  When they notice girls, cheat in school or fight on the bus.  When they're seeking marriage, failing in school or deciding whether to have sex for the first time or not...what are you aiming for?
I want their hears.  No behavior modification or fad parenting of the day.  No, I want the hearts of our boys because God want the hearts of our boys.  I'm aiming for the heart.  But how?

Matthew 23:27-28

New International Version (NIV)

27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
Looking at parenting through the lens of these verses has changed everything for me.  You see I was a Pharisee.  Boy was my cup clean on the outside. But on the inside?  On the inside my cup was filthy, full of uncleanness.
I had everybody fooled, even myself.  I believed that if I did good things, it made m good.  Actually, it's probably closer to the truth to day I believed that If I didn't do bad things, I wasn't bad.  I didn't know that no one is good.  I really didn't understand that everyone sins.  And I didn't understand the depth of my own sin until the Lord showed it to me. 
Question:  In our efforts to raise our sons are we teaching them that if they do good things they are good?Righteous even?  If we teach them that being good is all if takes, if our discipline and training focuses on their behavior, how will they know they need a Savior?
Are we raising little Pharisees? Or are we raising Godly men with a heart for God?  If a Godly son is your goal, you must aim for the heart.  Because unless the heart is changed - touched- the behavior will stay the same.  It might look a little different, morph some as they grow.  But behavior is always a symptom of the state of the heart.  What's in the heart, comes out.
"Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." Matthew 12:34
Ask yourself these questions:
1.  What parenting tools have I been using that only focus on changing the behavior and not the heart?  Am I willing to lay them down even if they produce what looks like a good child?
2.  Reaching a child's heart takes time.  Behavior modification is much faster!  Am I willing to change things about my life so that I have the time to invest in the hearts of my children?
3.   Most importantly: Am I willing to submit my own heart to God and allow Him to mold me from the inside out?
Shepherding our boys is not the the faint of heart friends!  Once a week or more I'm tempted to just throw it all out the window (including the boys...) and take the easier path.  So what keeps me going?  I want their hearts.  Just like my Heavenly Father want mine! (From Brook - originally posted at the M.O.B. Society.  Pg 29 - 30 leaders guide)

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