We talk about reaching the heart of our children and about having their heart – what do these phrases mean? And more importantly how do we do it? These were the questions I asked many years ago and my study changed my understanding and purpose of parenting.

Defining the ‘Heart’

The heart is the inner man, the conscience, the soul.

The heart is the mind, the place where we understand, think, reflect and know things

The heart is the where we have inclinations and make resolutions to determine our will.

The heart is where our character springs from.

The heart is the seat of our passions and our emotions.

 

These descriptions come from the Hebrew word for heart; this word is used so much in the Bible in relation to us growing in maturity. In summarizing all these descriptions, the heart is the place, deep inside each one of us that makes us tick. Do you know what makes your children tick?

We all have internal beliefs about every aspect of life. I am not necessarily talking about our faith beliefs, but rather what I believe about myself, other people, the world around me and God will affect the choices I make. My beliefs direct my actions.

In other words for us to change our child’s heart means we need to change their belief system. This is what heart focus parenting is all about. There are many methods that focus on modifying behaviour and though that works short term it won’t enable our children to grow into morally mature people.

In order for our children to take ownership of moral truth, or character based living in their own life, we need to change our children’s thinking from a self-focus to one-another-focus which is a biblical focus. There needs to be a complete turn around. This reminds me of the change that happens in a new Christian’s life and the encouragement that we find in Romans 12:2

Do not be confirmed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that you may prove what is that good and acceptable,
and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:2

We are not to be like the world around us, which focuses on the external things.  but our thinking, our beliefs are to be different, new ideals and new attitudes that come from the Word of God.  When we change our minds (our hearts, our beliefs) we will know for ourselves what is good and acceptable to God.

Isn’t this what we want for our children – for them to know, for themselves what is good and acceptable to God, and to walk in it?  We need to change their thinking, their belief system.   This is what heart focus parenting is all about – teaching, training, guiding and encouraging our children in their beliefs, character, choices, emotions and passions.

[Tweet “Heart Focus Parenting teaches to be responsible for your own beliefs,character,choices, emotions.”]

Over to you:

What is the most important part of heart focus parenting to you?

3 Comments

  1. Ginger Harrington

    I enjoyed this post. The heart is so important when we get bogged down in the coming and going, training and encouraging, cleaning and whatevering involved in parenting. Linking with you at Coffee for your Heart today.

    Reply
  2. Tanya Killingbeck

    This has just become a big topic in our home as our 14 year old starts to ask some pretty big life and faith questions. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Reply
    • Belinda

      I’m glad you found it helpful Tanya. When they start asking these questions it is so important for us to not take it personally, not make it a drama – and just give them the answers they need. It is a scary time as parents need to shift how they relate / parent their teens – but oh so rewarding as you keep it relational and heart focused.

      Reply

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Belinda and her husband, Peter, live in the far north-west of Australia on a small farm. They have four adult children whom they homeschooled from prep-year 12. Over this time Belinda has taught and supported women both face to face and online. Her heart is to encourage families to be intentional, relational and heart focused in all areas of family living. She continues to do this in her new season of life – as her kids leave home one by one leaving her with more time.

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