Our children are living in a culture where sin is now excepted as ‘life-styles’, ‘rights’ and ‘what is expected‘ as part of growing up. As Christian parents, who desire to raise our children the Biblical standards that we believe, we have a difficult job to teaching our children to guard their hearts. This is something that takes care and devotion to do it successfully. Don’t be mistaken, without a plan to succeed, the ways of the world will quickly take grip into their hearts and your job becomes even harder.
Here are some ways you can teach your children to guard their hearts:
- Be selective of friends. Do you or your children understand how to identify the characteristics of a good friend? The Bible tells us that “to have a friend, you must be a friend” (Proverbs 18:24). Again, we are looking for ‘a friend that loves at all time’ (Proverbs 17:17). In Proverbs 22:24-25, we are warned not to be friends with an angry man unless we learn his ways. This warning is good for the other things that we, as Christians, desire to not learn.
- Be selective of what is read. The written word is powerful. This isn’t just speaking of the Bible, but other written books that can quickly influence our minds and impact our desires. Learning at an early age to be discerning about what is read for enjoyment or for learning can really teach your children how to guard their hearts against the powers of words that they read and mediate on.
- Be selective of what is watched on Television. Knowing the power of a written word, you well know that the television has long been an influencer in all of our lives. Setting boundaries and teaching why these boundaries are there is a great way to help your children guard their hearts in a visual world. We have a parental pass code on our television, so that no show is accessible to our children that goes against our desires for them. We seldom watch a show when it is being aired, so we can control not only the commercials but also anything that we deem inappropriate for our viewing. Not only has this saved us time when watching our favorite shows, but allows us to demonstrate to our children how even an adult needs to guard their hearts.
- Be selective of what is accessible online. The online world is a wonderful thing for most of us, however it holds snares at every click. This one area has been the down fall of many marriages, so why wouldn’t it become a trap for young children unawares of the dangers that are literally a click away. Setting filters and safe guarding the time and places a child or teen spends online is the best thing that you can do to help safe guard their hearts, even before their is an issue.
- Be available for your children. We know our children and their weaknesses. Since the time they were just a years old, we have shared our faith them, offering them scriptures to overcome the struggles that they faced daily. As our children have grown, our advice and consul has grown with them. Having faced the same challenges they are facing, we know what is important to address and give them tools to succeed before sin grips and entangles them. In our home, we find time to talk when I cut their hair, around the table, on outings together and when they are facing their sin straight on. This has allowed them to have open communication with us, as they know that our desire for them is to please God and walk in His ways.
Knowing the pull that the online world has on so many, my teenage son is using scriptures to strengthen himself against the war for his purity and his mind. Being raised on Proverbs, he knows that this path leads to death (Proverbs 5) and has a strong grip on his gender. He wants to be victorious and has been guarding his heart with limited online activity, by his own choice. However, there are times when he loves to search for things and do some comparative shopping and no doubt will find more and more uses for the internet.
As Christian parents, we are so happy to offer him a safety net, when his spirit is willing but his flesh is weak.
Covenant Eyes is an online accountability and filtering service that is easy to add to your computers, laptops, smart phones and other devices. This service is being used to help many men and women alike, break the chains that the internet has on them through an accountability program that is tracked and viewed by a trusted person in their lives.
I really love the heart behind Covenant Eyes because this isn’t a service that was designed to shame a person for their temptations, but a service that will allow trust to be built between a trusted person and someone who desires to have a covenant with God or within a relationship. The reports are a way to build communication and help the whole family grow strong together.