3 Things To Remember When Parenting Your Child’s Heart

Some lessons in life have an eternal impact. I’ve made a list of things you need to remember when parenting your child’s heart. Because each life lesson has a purpose, and each situation can be a learning and growing opportunity if we just think of it at the moment. We don’t want to miss these opportunities to guide their hearts. 

What is the hardest thing about being a parent? I admit it – I am starting (or continuing) to have some memory issues or senior moments! I know the problem. It really has NOTHING to do with old age, and EVERYTHING to do with how many children I have. With each child I’ve had, I have lost a little bit more of my memory. Since I have EIGHT kids, it would make sense that my memory isn’t functioning, right?!

You’ve heard it before, “I used to have functioning brain cells, but I traded them in for children.” 

I could tell some pretty good stories about my moments of forgetfulness, but instead, I’ll get to the point of this.

When we start our parenting journey, and/or homeschooling, we have a vision and are usually excited and passionate about it.

This includes parenting your child’s heart.

But often over time, we get overwhelmed with all the curriculum choices and the schedule decisions that all parents struggle with. It’s common to get overwhelmed, discouraged, or totally off track from where we started. The key to dealing with discouragement, and feeling overwhelmed is recognizing what we have forgotten. I’m going to share three things that are easy to forget at times over the years of parenting and homeschooling.

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Three Things To Remember When Parenting Your Child’s Heart

Purpose is defined as an aim or a goal; an intention. What are your parenting goals? If you homeschool, what was your purpose? Here are some of the most common purposes or goals we probably all share:

  • We realize we are ultimately responsible and accountable for child training and instruction. (Deuteronomy 6)
  • We are seeking to train not just the mind, but also the heart and soul. True education integrates faith in Jesus Christ with the content of learning.
  • We desire to bond with our children and keep their hearts.
  • We want to teach kids our values, and help keep them pure.

I’m sure you have many other goals and purposes, but the key thing is as Christian parents, we MUST have an active purpose and philosophy of teaching and training our children.

The emphasis throughout the Word of God is to train our children from their infancy to serve the Lord; to train them on purpose to be righteous; to train them specifically to be godly; to particularly train them to be disciplined; to train them to do the things they ought to do; to train them to walk in the spirit. The goal of every Christian parent ought to be that his children grow up to be godly, not just good.”   (From the book by Dave Sorenson: TRAINING OUR CHILDREN TO TURN OUT RIGHT.)

Many times, as parents, we forget what our position is. Our children have been entrusted to us by God. They belong to Him, but He gave them into our care.  Some things that are important to keep in mind regarding this stewardship responsibility:

What are the 3 most important things a parent can teach a child?

1. By God’s design and plan, we as their parents are the authority.

Often we want to be our child’s friend or we want them to like us and be happy with us. Because of this, we fail to exercise the authority that God has given us. We should strive to keep their hearts and have a good relationship with them, however, it’s important to keep the right balance and maintain their respect for us and the authority God has given us. This is an important thing to remember when parenting your child’s heart:

“Your educational background is not important (you can learn along with them) nor is your lack of experience (you have taught them for years!), but your ability to cause your children to obey is essential. Every child has a human nature which is self-centered and must be restrained by his parents. This nature will interfere with effective homeschooling through laziness, rebellion, or willfulness. Parents will need to identify these negative character traits and then to control them by the proper use of their authority. The teaching facet of child training is really the easiest part. A child who is under control can be taught anything, from any curriculum, with any method.” – Richard Fugate

2. We must bring our children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)

How do you train a child’s heart? The word for nurture in Greek has the thought of curbing impulse and desire and subordinating them to what ought to be done. Or in other words, it means self-discipline. Much of our position as parents involves teaching our children self-discipline, and character. If you are homeschooling, it is important to remember that one of the keys to education is self-discipline.

“A major key to education is self-discipline. Discipline is important in the matter of proper behavior so that attention is held. More importantly, the imposing of discipline, and ultimately self-discipline, upon the mind is a secret to ongoing education.  Our job is to help our children develop discipline and self-control.”

3. We must remain constant and persevere in our parenting for the sake of our children.

Perseverance by definition is to persist in or remain constant to a purpose, an idea, or a task in the face of obstacles or discouragement.

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverence and supplication.” Eph. 6:18

Discouragement will come in your parenting and homeschooling. It just goes with the territory. Sometimes we are just tired. At those times, it’s very important to go back to your goals and purpose.

When your perseverance is waning, claim I Peter 5:7,8  “Casting all your care upon Him for He careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour.”

Remember, Satan NEVER quits seeking to devour us or our children. He is always on the lookout to destroy us and if we quit persevering, we are giving him an open door to do that.

As a parent, you want the best for your child. It is our job to provide unconditional love for our children. We don’t always get it right, but that doesn’t mean we stop trying. You want them to have good values and make good choices, but it can be hard to know how to teach them those things.

I hope you are able to take these three lessons I learned to heart and apply them to your own parenting, and I pray that the payoff is evident in your child as they grow to know the Lord.

What would you add to this list of 3 Things To Remember When Parenting Your Child’s Heart? Share with us below!

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14 Responses

  1. Judith, Sounds like we should have met years ago, and encouraged each other as we muddled through, and learned from our mistakes! 🙂 thanks or the encouragement. Doesn’t it seem strange to even think of being done after this year? My son is in 10th grade, so I’m close to done too – don’t even really like to think about it!

  2. As my son finishes his homeschooling journey (and I finish mine) this year, I still find myself enjoying all your great posts and advice on this blog. Where were you over the years as I sometimes wallowed in confusion and other times shared with others along the way?! 😉 Thanks for linking up this post over at WholeHearted Home. I appreciate all that you share over at my blog and I hope that many ladies read it and find the encouragement they seek.

  3. Oh yes, our purpose. That is something I need to daily remember! 🙂 Thank you for reminding me and for linking up this post at SImply Helping Him! Blessings!

  4. Wow, what your mom said is so true – kind of sad, too!  I will be linking up the rest of the posts in this series soon.  This past week I’ve been busy getting things ready for our Facebook party tonight.  Hope you can join us!

     

  5. I am sitting here chuckling thinking to myself, "Man, I only have 2 kids…what's wrong with ME then???" lol! But I had memory issues BEFORE kids…so…I just say I'm blond.  haha!  But, this is so true.  So often our purpose gets lost in the day to day dishes, laundry, discipline, homeschooling…whatever.  But I remember one thing my mom said once in a parenting seminar: people plan their vacations better than they plan their families. If we don't have a plan and purpose for our family, how will we ever evaluate if we are doing well?  I can't wait to read the rest.  I hope you link up the rest of the posts in this series!!  

  6. I'm always so thankful for the memorizing of God's Word I did when I was young–it's so much harder to remember what I try to memorize today.  I really like the "On purpose" kind of parenting.  My children are grown and now I'm now in the "on purpose" grandparenting.  

  7. Kathie,
    You're so right that it's easy to lose sight of our goals when we're slogging away in the trenches. One wise homeschooling mentor even suggested writing out a purpose statement for why we homeschool and posting it in a prominent place. I took that suggestion and ran with it. I wrote an article called "Why We Homeschool," in part to record all the good reasons to educate our children at home. In times of doubt (or when I needed to encourage another homeschooling mom), I had it at the ready. Now that my daughters are grown, I still agree with every one of the reasons.  Thanks for reminding women to "be not weary in doing good, for (they) will reap a harvest!"  Blessings, Lori

  8. Wonderful post. Another good book to read is Family Driven Faith and it talks about homeschooling too. I homeschool 3 of my 5 and love it.

  9. In so many areas, it's good to come back to our purpose. Even though my homeschooling days are behind me, I need to do this in other areas of my life. Thanks for the reminder.

  10. Aww, thanks for the encouragement Wendy!

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