Tuesday, February 02, 2010

In Other Words--The Heart of a Child


"He who can reach a child’s heart can reach the world’s heart."
~Rudyard Kipling~

If anyone knew how to capture the imagination of a child, it was Rudyard Kipling. Generations of children have been enthralled with his The Jungle Book or the Just So stories. I was one of those children. My grown up mind tends to over analyze his works, but as a child I was thrilled as I imagined how the animals got their stripes, spots, trunks and humps. Pure joy in reading.

Capturing the imagination of a child is one thing; capturing the heart is quite another. Yet it is the heart of a child that will largely motivate how he or she sees the world as they grow into adults.

The majority of what I believe about people, about how to live my life and about God was developed in my early years. True, it has been nuanced and deepened as I've grown older but the foundations were laid early. Even last week, as I conversed with someone about Scriptures the ones that came to mind that I could quote were the ones I learned as a child. The injustices that I noticed as a child, or saw my parents notice as a child, are the ones that I feel the deepest need to address. My adamant belief that tithing is not optional comes from watching/hearing my parents discuss tithing on the way to church. The fact that I believe that we have an obligation to vote comes from going to the polling place with my parents and grandparents. Even my love of math and reading were developed in my childhood. The foundations that my parents, grandparents, teachers and neighbours laid in my childhood have a huge impact on how I interact as a world citizen today.

Jesus understood the importance of children.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
Matthew 19:14

He knew that the time to capture a heart for the kingdom was when it was young. What he was saying was nothing new. From the days of the children of Israel going into the land of Canaan they had been admonished to use the early days of a life to lay the foundations.

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates,
~Deuteronomy 11:18-20~

As a homeschooling mom this is one of those things that brings me incredible joy and strikes me with utter fear. Joy that I am building the very foundations that will impact their world in the future. Fear that I am building the very foundations that will impact their world in the future. It is not a task I take lightly. I want to lead them to capture a vision of how God sees the world. I want them to develop His heart. It is the desire of this mama's heart that they will develop into young women who want to seek their Saviour with all of their hearts and actions. That is a daunting task. Thankfully, He is the one who will draw their hearts to His own. He is the one that will kindle their desires. It is only up to me to provide a learning space for that to happen, as much as I am able to faithfully model seeking Him, to pray and to trust the results to Him. Easier said than done, but I'm working on it.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
~Jeremiah 29:13~

Who captured your childhood heart? How does that impact how you interact with your world? Trust the Saviour of our pasts to use them to lead the children in our lives.

Nina at Mama's Little Treasures is our lovely hostess today. Please visit. Be blessed!


Debbie said...

My paternal grandparents were the ones who taught me about Jesus as a child. I'm so grateful for them even though I was a prodigal for some time. However, I always remembered in the back of my mind what they taught me. I think I didn't cross certain boundaries because of the conviction in my heart.

It really must be a great responsibility to home school and teach your children. Praise God that He is with you to guide you in this process. And He will speak to your child's heart too.


Karen said...

It's a big responsibility to teach these little ones that we can't leave up to chance. Thanks for sharing today.

Tami Boesiger said...

Your post reminds me how difficult it is for adults to come to Christ. Too many habits formed by then, I guess. Yet, God is the God of miracles. I'm praying for those adults in our lives who struggle with the old nature today. Thanks, MiPa.