Mentoring Your Child’s Heart

Your Marriage & Home Life

1 July 2018 PM – Hebrews 13:4 – Mentor Kids – Scott Childs

Introduction: Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage is honourable”. Today, marriage is being ignored, neglected, redefined, and often endured as a selfish battleground between a man and a woman. Is it any wonder that children today are confused?

In a previous sermon, we learned that your character is key to winning your child’s heart and keeping it. Perhaps no areas of life displays your character before your children more than your marriage and your home life.

Transition: This evening I want us to take a closer look at how your marriage and home life influence the mentoring of your children.

1.        Your Marriage Affects your Mentoring
a.         Marriage influences a child’s heart
1)         Marriage is God’s plan for every family unit (He 13:4)
2)         Your actions speak louder than words.
3)         When your child leaves home, most of what he knows about marriage is what he has observed in your marriage.
b.         A poor marriage will repel a child’s heart
1)         Harmony, kindness, love, tenderness, forgiveness, calm discussions, and faithfulness is often lacking in homes. Many have weathered the cyclone of divorce. When children sense that mum and dad don’t get alone well and don’t really love each other, their sense of security greatly drops. Their trust staggers. Their fears increase. They feel forced into taking sides with one parent or the other. Their sense of love, forgiveness and security is shattered.
2)         A child with such feelings is very unlikely to give you his heart.
c.          A good marriage will attract a child’s heart
1)         Marital harmony will give your child security. Children need the security of a happy loving home. A sweet marriage lets your child know that dad and mum love each other and that he has nothing to fear.
2)         Children learn how to work through conflicts as they watch you work through conflicts in marriage. Do they see selfishness, yelling and anger or do they see you stay calm, discuss differences, and pray together?
d.         Develop a good strong marriage
Here are some biblical tips that will strengthen your marriage.

1)         Love your spouse. (Colossians 3:19) “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.” (Titus 2:4) “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,”
a)         Next to God, your spouse must be first in your life. Your children desperately need to see that your spouse is the most important human in your life. If you place a child ahead of your spouse, you are disobeying God and giving your child an unbiblical view of marriage and a low view of your spouse.
b)         Be sweet to your spouse. We all have bad days, but we need to work at being sweet. If you are harsh with your spouse, why will your child want to give you his heart?
c)         Appropriately express love to each other in front of the children. Children need to see dad and mum hug and sharing loving words. I have many fond memories of that in my childhood.
2)         Edify or build up your spouse.
a)         Honour your spouse. (Proverbs 12:4) “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.”
b)         Be a spiritual blessing to your spouse. Encourage prayer together. Share Bible nuggets that you find.
c)         Be thankful. Be complementary. Each of us like complements. Your spouse is no exception.
d)         Be forgiving. This is huge! (Ephesians 4:32) “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
e)         If your child does not see you edifying your spouse in these ways, it will undermine his trust in you. He will question your character qualities.
3)         Work with your spouse
a)         Be helpful. Look for things you can do to be a help to your spouse. Your kids are watching your example.
b)         To win the heart of your child, it is very important that you be in harmony with your spouse. If you and your spouse are not working as a team, your child will quickly pick that up. It will become a wedge.
c)         During discipline sessions, you and your spouse must share mutual support. If you conflict on discipline measures, sit down together and examine all that the Bible has to say about it. Let the Bible be your guide. Come to a biblical agreement.
O  When you have a good strong marriage, you are influencing your child’s heart in countless subtle ways. You are also creating a perfect atmosphere for mentoring his heart.

2.        Your Home Life Affects your Mentoring
a.         Control the atmosphere
1)         Seek to keep your home as calm, cheerful, happy, and secure as possible.
a)         Once again, your character traits play a large part in this. If your home is not a loving, comforting, encouraging, kind, forgiving, and fair place to live, your child will know this. Be a good example!
b)         Work to develop God-like character qualities.
2)         Eat meals together as often as possible. In years gone by, mealtime was an important family time. Not only was it a time to learn manners, but it was a time to share news and fellowship as a family. Encourage that mealtime atmosphere in your home. Protect your mealtime.
3)         Limit outside-home activities. Children do not need many outside-home activities other than church and youth activities. Make home your haven. Make home enjoyable and fulfilling. Make it a fun place to be.
4)         Censor the entertainment.
a)         Have God-honouring music playing in the home. Cultivate a love for singing God-honouring songs.
b)         Carefully censor movies and games. Even many so-called Christian ones contain bad music and immodest dress.
c)         Filter your Internet. This is necessary in our day. Use the free K9 filter or one of the many pay filters, but never give your child access to an unfiltered Internet. Set a good example and filter yours as well. Have your spouse set your password.
5)         Teach your child how to select God-honouring friends. Just because the child has a Christian parent does not guarantee he is a good choice of friend. Find friendship principles in the book of Proverbs to guide you.
6)         Sleepovers are VERY dangerous! You have no way of controlling what your child will be exposed to in the night.
7)         Be crazy and fun at times. Kids love silly things.
8)         Develop fun wholesome traditions
b.         Focus on communication
1)         Spend time together
2)         Talk together and listen when they talk
3)         Take an interest in the child’s interests. This may be a challenge when they are young or if their interests differ from yours, but do not ignore the need.
4)         Show sincere empathy when they are hurting. This will help them feel like communicating with you.
5)         Display appropriate and meaningful touches. This is another means of communicating love. Never touch inappropriately. That is sin as well as criminal.
O  Your home life is a perfect time for mentoring your child’s heart. Seek to make it a perfect environment for mentoring his heart.

Conclusion: If your marriage or home life is not all that God wants it to be, take action. Spend time with your spouse discussing the problem. Work together to improve. Humility, a selfless attitude and willingness to admit wrong and forgive are mandatory in every good marriage. Once your marriage is a team effort, then you can work in harmony to improve your home life. Mentoring requires that your actions agree with your words.

Song: Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord – 337