Mentoring Your Child’s Heart: Goals
3 June 2018 PM – Proverbs 23:26 – Mentor Kids – Scott Childs
Intro: “Depending on statistics and how they are taken, consistently we see anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of all children who grow up in an Independent Baptist home do not go on to serve God.” Terry Coomer
We do not want our children to be puppet or robots that learn to do what we want while at home but then turn from it when they leave home. We must reach their hearts so that they truly love the Lord in their hearts and desire to please Him of their own accord. Ephesians 6:6, “Not with eyeservice as men pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.”
Transition: This sermon is a guide as you seek to mentor your child’s heart. It contains four goals for mentoring your child’s heart: rescue, receive, retain, and retrieve. In the weeks to come, we will discover major influences that will help or hinder these goals
1. Rescue your child’s heart
a. Your child was born with a wayward heart
1) (Jeremiah 17:9) “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
2) (Proverbs 22:15) “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”
b. You must guide him toward Christ
1) To do this YOU must have “A Flourishing Relationship with God.” In other words, you must have “heart for God” yourself, a passion for God, giving God top priority, God-honouring goals, obeying God completely.
2) Live your “heart for God” before your child – It must be obvious. We will develop this more another week.
3) Loving biblical discipline should always point him to Christ. (Proverbs 13:24) “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” Biblical discipline is beneficial (Pro 20:30; Heb 12:11).
4) Keep the Gospel before him and pray that God will convict and open his heart to his need of salvation. Let God do the pushing. You do the praying and mentoring.
5) Seek to mentor a heart for God within him. (Deuteronomy 6:7) “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” (2 Timothy 3:15) “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
6) Once he is saved, involve him in your passion for God. Show him how you developed a flourishing relationship with God (Pr 2:1-6). Coach him. Evaluate progress. Encourage.
a) Help him to see that obedience is to glorify God. (1 Corinthians 10:31) “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
b) Identify God in all the events of life (e.g., creation, blessings, answered prayer, heartaches, thankfulness, pain, disappointments, etc.)
7) Share your hearts for God together.
a) Talk openly and often about spiritual truths.
b) Share gems you each find in your Bible reading.
c) Pray together often. Make spiritual fellowship your norm. Just as in a marriage, a triangle with God at the top and you and your child at the bottom depicts the process of developing your child’s heart. As the two of you draw closer to God, you naturally grow closer to each other. That leads to point two.
2. Receive your child’s heart
a. Seek to get his heart
1) (Proverbs 23:26) “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.” It cannot be taken by force. He must give it to you voluntarily.
2) How will you know? When a parent has his child’s heart, he will obey promptly and cheerfully and will trust his parent to make wise choices for him. Both parent and child will be in harmony, heading for the same goals, communicating transparently as close friends.
3) Ask spiritual heart questions. “We need to ask, who, what, when, where, how, why questions. What do you think about that? Do not use their answer as a blasting them time. They have to be trained to let God speak to their heart. When we ask heart questions, we draw out what is in the heart of the child. This is an opportunity to discuss what is in their heart in a spiritual, calm way. Look at the Bible with them on the subject. In essence we can say, “Let’s see what God says about it.” You may ask them to look up some verses and come back to you. Also, you can look up verses on the subject. The child has to learn to think and allow God to speak to their heart. (Remember this is a heart issue). Explain to them to ask God to show them what he wants for them in this area. Ask them to tell you what God says about this to them.” Terry Coomer
b. In a sense you must win your child’s heart.
1) Your character will either draw his heart or turn it away.
2) The influences of daily life will either motivate him to rebelliously keep his heart or gladly give you his heart.
3. Retain your child’s heart
Hopefully, you will rescue and receive your child’s heart while he is very young. That is only the beginning. As he enters his teen years, the devil will make it more difficult for you to retain his heart.
a. Now you must keep your child’s heart
1) Receiving your child’s heart is often difficult because as parents we often fail.
2) However, keeping your child’s heart once you get it can be just as difficult.
b. You must be consistent in the good influences that enabled you to receive your child’s heart.
1) Consistency is very difficult. Life is busy and children often need our “attention” at the most inconvenient times.
2) Teens need a blend of empathy, explanation, exhortation, discipline, protection and love.
3) Anger is a huge influence that turns a child’s heart away from his parents (Eph 6:4; Col 3:21; 1Th 2:7, 11).
4) Provide loving leadership. This is far more than just meeting his financial needs (1Ti 5:8).
5) This is no time to become selfish (Php 2:4).
4. Retrieve your child’s heart
In careless moments, you will fail. If you may lose your child’s heart temporarily, you must then retrieve his heart again.
a. Perhaps the most difficult task is getting back a child’s heart that has turned away.
1) Children turn away because they got hurt or something was lacking in the parent’s influences.
2) This task must begin with you. You must examine your heart and honestly and humbly admit your failures (Pr 22:6). Denying any fault and blaming the child will add to the problem.
3) Proceed with confession to God and then genuine humble confession to your child. Be genuine. Make no excuses.
a) (Matthew 5:23-24) “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”
b) (James 5:16) “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
4) This heart retrieval process is not just for rebellious teens. It is for any time you lose the heart of your child. If you sense this has happened, promptly seek to retrieve it.
b. The problem did not begin suddenly and it will take time to heal.
1) However, the sooner you discover that you have lost a portion of your child’s heart, immediately take action.
2) Pray, pray and keep praying. God is the only one who can break a rebellious heart and make it soft again.
Conclusion: As parents, your goals ought to include rescuing our child’s heart, receiving our child’s heart, retaining our child’s heart, and retrieving our child’s heart. I challenge you to see the need and then pray for God’s wisdom and help in this HUGE task.
Song: Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord – 337