Welcome to our first chapter of our online book club! This is not intended to be read and studied in ONE reading (please don’t feel overwhelmed!)…I would like to encourage you to print this out and use it as an ongoing study. You will want have a Bible to look up scriptures and take time to think and pray about each chapter. Each week – I going to give a quick synopsis of this chapter and then, ask some questions and give you some scriptures to study. I would LOVE to hear your comments, things you may struggle to do or grasp, and areas of victory. Please enjoy this wonderful book!
I have been going through a purging in my own life for the past five years or so, about being TRULY and ONLY biblically based. This isn’t always the easiest road to take – it is always easier to take a road well-traveled into tradition, to societal norms and our own comfort zones. But, begin biblical is always the best…I could go on and on about this topic, but for the moment, we better get to the book! 🙂 But, just so you know, this is a subject I am personally committed to and I hope through the study of this book, we all become more aware of how it will play out in our daily lives.
Getting to the Heart of the Matter – Chapter 1 Synopsis
A person’s life is a reflection of his heart. One of my husband’s favorite quotes is, “Circumstance merely creates an opportunity to show what was already in your heart to do.” Scripture says it this way, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” – Proverbs 4:23. And in Luke 6:45, “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”
The author states, Behavior is not the basic issue, the basic issue is always what is going on in the heart. Parents often get sidetracked by behavior, but behavior is just a way to ALERT us to what is going on in the heart. Behavior becomes our focus (as parents) – and a change in behavior that does not stem from a change in heart is not commendable; it is condemnable. (See hypocrisy in Pharisees – Matthew 15)
Your concern is to unmask your child’s sin – helping him to understand how it reflects a heart that has strayed. You must learn to work from the behavior you see, back to the heart, exposing heart issues for your children. In short, you must learn to ENGAGE them, not just REPROVE them. (Though you must also require proper behavior – that is not where you stop.)
The author had a great example – You see your two children fighting over a toy. Often, we as parents step in and say, “Who had it first?”. But, the true heart issue is you have two offenders – two children are displaying hardness of heart towards each other. Both are being selfish. I will have this toy and be happy regardless of what that means to you. Two children are preferring themselves before the other. (Ouch! How often I have missed that heart issue and just addressed the behavior!)
1. What are some of the ways that you have been a behaviorist (only correcting the wrong behavior) rather than a shepherd of the heart of your child?
2. What questions can you develop (questions that cannot be answered “yes” or “no”) that will help you draw your children out in ways that focus correction and discipline on heart issues?
3. How should your goals in correction and discipline change?
Scriptures of encouragement for parents:
2 Peter 1:3-4
2 Chronicles 16:9a
Look up the following scriptures and evaluate the heart issue that leads to sin:
Romans 12:19 – (for example – you might say REVENGE or HATRED is the heart issue)
Psalm 56: 3, 4, 11
James 3:14, 16
I Cor. 3:1, 3
I Cor. 10:14
The author recommends beginning a journal or a notebook of scriptures that address heart issues – as well as biblical stories that illustrate heart issues. Only then, can we as parents learn to address heart issues biblically with our children.
I hope you are encouraged today with this reading, be blessed!
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