"Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, it there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy meditate on these things." Phil 4:8

June 21, 2011

Warrior Prayers: Day 14 "Goodness"

Encouragement from Brooke
(Originally posted at the M.O.B. Society)
What are you aiming for? When your boys disobey, disrespect, or  are unkind. When they seek to understand what's important. When they notice girls, cheat in school or fight on the bus. When they're seeking marriage, failing in school or deciding whether to have sex for the first time or not … what are you aiming for?

I want their hearts. No behavior modification or fad parenting of the day. No, I want the hearts of our boys, because God wants the hearts of our boys. I'm aiming for the heart. But how?

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. So you outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness."
(Matthew 23:27-28, ESV)

Looking at parenting through the lens of these verses has changed everything for me. You see I was a Pharisee. Boy was my cup clean on the outside. But on the inside? On the inside my cup was filthy, full of all uncleanness.

I had everybody fooled, even myself. I believed that if I did good things, it made me good. Actually, it's probably closer to the truth to say I believed that if I didn't do bad things, I wasn't bad. I didn't know that no one is good. I didn't really understand that everyone sins. And I didn't understand the depth of my own sin until the Lord showed it to me.

Question: In our efforts to raise our sons are we teaching them that if they do good things they are good? Righteous even? If we teach them that being good is all it takes, if our discipline and training focuses on their behavior, how will they know they need a Savior?

Are we raising little Pharisees? Or are we raising Godly men with a heart for God? If a Godly son is your goal, you must aim for the heart. Because unless the heart is changed--touched--the behavior will stay the same. It might look a little different, morph some as they grow. But behavior is always a symptom of the state of the heart. What's in the heart, comes out.

"Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." ~Matthew 12:34

Ask yourself these questions:
·    What parenting tools have I been using that only focus on changing behavior and not the heart? Am I willing to lay them down even if they produce what looks like a good child?
·    Reaching a child's heart takes time. Behavior modification is much faster! Am I willing to change things about my life so that I have the time to invest in the hearts of my children?
·    Most importantly: Am I willing to submit my own heart to God and allow Him to mold me from the inside out?

Shepherding our boys is not for the faint of heart friends! Once a week or more I'm tempted to just throw it all out the window (including the boys … ) and take the easier path. So what keeps me going? I want their hearts. Just like my Heavenly Father wants mine.

Goal for today:
1.       Commit to praying the ten prayers in the goodness chapter during day fourteen.

May__________be glad of heart for all the goodness that the LORD has shown to his people  (1 Kings 8:66).

May goodness and mercy follow__________all the days of his life, and may he dwell in the house of the LORD forever (Psalm 23:6).

Remember not the sins of__________'s youth or his transgressions; according to Your steadfast love remember__________, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD (Psalm 25:7).

May__________believe that he shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13).

How abundant is Your goodness, which you have stored up for__________and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind (Psalm 31:19).

May__________be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple (Psalm 65:4).

May__________taste the goodness of the word of God (Hebrews 6:5).

It is not good that__________should be alone; Lord, make him a helper fit for him (Genesis 2:18).

May__________do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may go well with him (Deuteronomy 6:18).

May__________go and celebrate because of all the good things the LORD his God has given to him (Deuteronomy 26:11).

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