Guarding Your Child's Heart

By Carmen Miller

If you are like me, then you know how it feels competing daily with the media for influence over our kids.
The Kardashian clan to the dysfunctional Teen Moms on MTV to Rhianna and, yes, even Nickelodeon have a whole lot they would like to teach our children.

When my husband and I gave our lives to Christ we had to change pretty much everything we had did before. We stopped listening to secular music, we stopped watching certain shows on T.V., etc. And we did the same for our children—although our oldest wasn’t too happy.

Our eyes, mind, ears, and hearts are gateways. A gateway is defined as: a door, entry, or a portal. That means what we see and hear can enter our minds and hearts and take up residence there. As adults we can control some things but let us never have too much confidence  or depend on our own understanding(Proverbs 3:5) as our flesh will fail and disappoint us daily. If as adults, we must heed this warning then imagine for our children, who are sent out into this corrupt world daily.

It is so crucial as parents we not just raise our children, but “train” them. You raise vegetables, you train children. So what does it mean to train up your child? It is a consistent example of righteous living that our children can first feel and then observe as they grow up. It is teaching the existence of God and the absolute authority of the Bible. It is enforcing God’s rules and parental authority strictly and severely. It is teaching by reproof and the rod. It is teaching by repetition throughout the day. It is a very open relationship with children, allowing them to know you and learning them well.

So how do we guard their hearts, until they can?

Guard their eyes and ears: We can’t let our 12 and 13 year old daughter watch Keeping Up with The Kardashians, and listen to Lil Wayne, yet wonder why by the time she reached 17 she searched for her identity, worth, and value in friends, expensive clothes (way out of your budget), and boys. For many, unfortunately  it ends with a 17 year old giving birth to her first child. Am I blaming artists and celebrities for teen pregnancies, and the identity crisis of our youth? No, I blame us as parents, because we control what our children watch and hear in our homes. It is our responsibility as parents to protect our children. And by this we control what we watch and hear! They need to see the example, and we need to be it.

Guard their mind and hearts: Obviously, we cannot control what they do outside of home. We live in a time where even teachers are playing secular music in the classrooms. This is where the training comes. This is where we don’t miss a day telling our children how much we love them, and that their identity comes from Christ alone. That $60 shirt at the mall, and the hot jock on the football team will never satisfy the heart’s desire. Only Jesus Christ can. Let them know God made all the delicate, inner parts of their body and knit them together in their womb (Psalm 139:13). They are already royalty, and sons and daughters of Kings.

More importantly, let’s continue to pray over our children. Cover them daily!

Pray over them from head to toe.

Pray over their minds, that they will NOT conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of their minds ( Romans 12:2).

Pray over their eyes and ears, that when they leave home they see and hear only what is true, what is honorable, what is just, what is pure, what is lovely, what is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8).

Pray over their hearts, that they might not delight in man or the things of this world, but delight themselves in the Lord, and he will give them the desires of their heart (Psalm 37:4).

Pray over their shoes and feet, that they may walk in God’s statutes and keep His ordinances, and do them (Ezekiel 11:20).

Parenting is hard enough without having to protect your children from the destructive messages they're exposed to in today's culture. Discover how to ground your kids in faith and Christian values through Scripture memory and meditation. Gary Smalley's 12-session curriculum equips you to teach your children to love God, overcome trials, develop good character, and more. Includes DVD, leader's guide, and workbook. 

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In what ways are you guarding your children’s hearts?

This post was also featured today on The Charlotte Moms.