Proverbs 23:26, “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.”
All too often I watch parents demand that their children obey them and expect it to happen. Is it wrong to ask your children to obey? Of course not! But what are you really asking of them? Do you want them to obey for obeying sake? Do you want them to make you proud when you’re in public by quickly obeying your words? Do you expect obedience and yet don’t know how to get it? The answer to all of this is to speak to the heart of the child not the flesh of the child…in fact, speak from your heart not from your flesh.
We all want to look like good parents; we want our children to be pillars of society and not one of us would wish harm to our child; but we cannot have this if our child’s heart is not won to the LORD. This passage in Proverbs reminds us that we want the heart of our child, not just their attention span for the moment; and we should be the example to them in giving our own hearts to God.
My son, give me your heart and observe my ways. This puts us to the test of how we are training our children; it puts us on the center stage as they watch us encounter trials; face rejection; deal with those who are hateful; react to something we don’t like; spend our time with the Word; and how we train them to observe our ways.
None of us are perfect examples to our children, but we are the examples the LORD put into their lives. We are lessons they will learn and we are the ones who will capture their hearts toward us and eventually toward the LORD.
I guarantee you, you are a teacher whether you think you are or not. For your child will learn perfectly, how you embrace God’s Laws, His commands, and His expectations of your walk. Yes, they will learn to submit, they will learn to hunger after the Word, they will learn to give of their self, they will learn to be obedient; or they will learn just the opposite. How are you capturing your child’s heart? It’s not so much about how obedient you can make them or how quickly they respond; it’s about knowing their heart and understanding their motives and it’s about teaching them to give their hearts to the LORD.