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Monday, February 20, 2012

How to Have a Heart Study- Chapter 4

How To Have a HEART for Your Kids

I've joined an online group to go through the book "How to Have a H.E.A.R.T For Your Kids' by Rachael Carman. You can click on the banner above to take you to the blog that is hosting this.


I got behind in reading this so I am catching up over the next couple days. This post is about what I gleaned from Chapter 4. This week's topic is R: Release Them to God.

Some things I gleaned in the text this week are as follows.


THEY ARE NOT OURS

This subject title was a WOW moment for me.. She expresses how our children are God's and I keep forgetting this. He entrusted me with them but they are not mine but His. What also stood out to me was what she said about how some parents just want their kids is to be happy.. "Really? What if their happiness means making your life miserable? What if criminal behavior makes them happy? What if breaking God's law makes them happy? Is 'happiness' really the standard we want to set for our kids?"


She answers this perfectly by stating how we need to move beyond the earthly happiness and focus on giving our children the joy of the Lord. She also mentions that we need to let go of our selfish dreams we have for them.


I love how she helps me open my eyes in how I address my children about their future's. We need to always steer our children toward God and His purpose for their lives. Asking questions like "What do you think God's direction is for your life? What talents do you think He has given you? How do you think you might best serve Him? What draws your heart to God? Are you on the right path? How can I help you?"


I have been pretty critical with my oldest son lately and I really need to tape these questions up to remind me that I need to draw him closer to God and His purpose and not my own selfishness..


This quote really slapped me when I read it.. "We get wrapped up in chasing after achievement for our children according to the world's standards: SAT scores, Ivy League schools, business card titles, 401(k) plans, vacations, and so on. We forget the standard set on Calvary. Instead of sacrificing ourselves, we crucify Christ all over again as we worship at the world's altars and at the feet of its idols."


Now if that quote doesn't pack a punch, I don't know what would. I tend to get wrapped up in the mindset of schoolwork comes first at the sake of sitting down and sharing God's Word with my children. I have put bible studies on the back burner because we were behind on our studies and I really need to put this first...


She goes on talking about 'So many distractions, so little time'. She helps me put into perspective on the priority roles of three things.


1. God and our relationship with Him

2. Parents, siblings and extended family and our relationship with them.

3. Then we can focus on academics.


I love how she says 'The world is not in short supply of smart people. We have plenty of men and women who can manipulate numbers, create new products, or coordinate marketing strategies. But this world is short- way short- of people who have been with Jesus on an everyday basis, cultivating an intimate relationship with the Lord of lords."


She then goes on the remind me how important it is to be in the Word and have a relationship with Jesus for myself. To then pray for our children to remain mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually pure. I know this is really difficult in our sexed up society. You can't go down the street with your children without seeing a billboard, poster or store that shows off inappropriate images. I know now more than ever how important it is to pray for our children's purity!


One other thing that really stood out in this chapter was when she said 'There are times I wonder if perhaps I've been holding on more to my kids than to my God'.. I know I've been doing that. I need to rely more on God, have Him a part of my life at all times. I need to pray more, talk to Him more and be in His word more.


She finishes up expressing how important it is to really steer our children to God. You just never know if you have the next Billy Graham or Mother Teresa growing up in your house!


"We need take care of our children as if they were our own while being ever mindful of the fact that, from the beginning, they were never ours to keep. Release them to God. They are His, and He will take great care of them."

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