“Don’t talk to your sister that way!”
“Obey me immediately!”
“Empty the dishwasher! And remember to make your bed!”
“Read your Bible!”
Motherhood, it seems, is often filled with lists of good things to do, rules to follow, truth to obey. And yet, it is so easy to fill up our lives with duty and responsibility and miss capturing the heart.
All children long to become someone important—a hero in their own lifetime. God has crafted this into the heart of everyone who has been born—to know their purpose, to have a work of life, to fulfill a destiny.
And yet, in the Martha tasks of the days, it is so easy to forget to take the time to build dreams. And yet without a dream, without a vision of why Jesus gave us our personality and skills in order to accomplish kingdom work, Christianity can feel like it is simply a life of morals to follow a task to do, a life of trying to “Do good,” while the heart longs to be a part of something bigger—more captivating.
When Jesus called his disciples, He cast a vision not a moralistic lifestyle.
“Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”
“Look to the fields they are white unto harvest. The harvest is plentiful, the workers few—pray to God that He will send more men to harvest souls—like I have called you.”
As I look into the lives of my own children, who are now adults, it is the vision that God has a work for them to do in the world that has captivated their hearts to love God and to follow Him.
When piano lessons were practiced, I would say, “I wonder if you will write great music for God’s glory—to inspire and comfort believers who long to be closer to God.” One child became a composer.
“You are such an amazing writer. Perhaps you will write stories and books that will show God’s truth and reality to a world longing to be a part of a great story.” Two, so far, have become writers of books.
“God has given you the gift of making friends. I can just imagine Him using you to befriend and influence many in your generation to know Him and to follow His ways.” Two have become leaders of groups, teachers of those who long for forgiveness and healing, gathering people for His kingdom wherever they go.
The secret of passing on a love for God, rests not in the tasks of obedience and morality. But an excellent moral character flows out of a person whose heart has been captured by the One who has great plans for his life. Leading others, including our children, is more about capturing the imagination of the heart more than confronting a heart with duty.
Looking deep into the heart of each child, seeing his personality as a gift crafted by God, understanding what excites his heart, is the key to leading that child to a life time of following hard after a God who created him for a great and mighty work to do in his lifetime. It is about heart not obedience.
Today, what are the dreams that capture the heart of your child? Pay attention and fan the flames of vision, and God will use you to capture a heart.
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