“We cannot control everything our children experience, but we can influence how they process what life sends their way. We can teach them to guard against the inevitable firestorms of life. . . . Intentionally, or unintentionally, on purpose or by accident, we build into our children or take away.”- Andy Stanley
In Chapter 19 (“For Your Children’s Best”) of Enemies of the Heart, Andy Stanley asserts that children share their parents’ inclinations toward anger, guilt, greed, or jealousy. Thus, these four heart conditions shape our homes. And, ultimately, that plays a large role in shaping the hearts of our children. In other words, Pastor Stanley observes, modeling always wins over instruction.
As a result, when parents fail to stand watch over their own hearts, Andy stresses, they fail to develop “the habit of investing in the thing that [makes] the most difference in the most critical components of life.
Therefore, the author positsthe most important thing children pack when they leave home for the last time. What’s packed in their hearts. Hence, it’s important, Andy notes, that parents teach their children the importance of confession, forgiveness, and generosity. Also, they need to learn how to celebrate the success of others.
However, Pastor Stanley suggests, he believes the most critical element in the entire process involves helping our children pay attention to what’s going on within. Most noteworthy, Pastor Stanley writes, “the questions you ask your children communicate to them what’s important to you in life.”
In conclusion, Andy emphasizes his conviction that asking questions provides one of the best ways to train your children to guard their hearts. For your questions possess the power to:
- communicate the values you place on the condition of their hearts
- actually help your children know what they should be watching for
Finally, in Chapter 20, Pastor Stanley reminds us that “confessing, forgiving, and giving are habits that strengthen our resolve and remove the enemy’s base of operation in our lives.”
Today’s question: What Bible verses bolster you against the inevitable firestorms of life? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: the annotated bibliography of Enemies of the Heart