How to Have a HEART for Your Kids- Heart for God

by Carrie Raab on January 16, 2012

How to Have a HEART for Your Kids

How to Have a HEART for Your Kids- Ch.1

I forgot to mention in the introduction that Rachael, the author of the book gave the word heart, an acronym, thus the reason why there is a period between each letter.  This is what H.E.A.R. T. stands for:

HEART

H – Have a heart for the things of God

E – Enrich your marriage

A – Accept your kids

R – Release them to God

T – Teach them the truth

Chapters 1 through 5 are about each of the letters of the acronym HEART.  For this week, I will be sharing with you Ch. 1, which is titled, “Have a Heart for the Things of God.”

Rachael shares in chapter 1 that in order for your kids to have a heart for the things of God, you need to have a heart for the things of God.  You can not pass on what you do not have.  “Seek ye first His Kingdom and His Righteousness, and all of these things shall be added unto you.”  Rachael then goes into the chapter discussing ‘her’ heart in the matter and not just her children.  She shares how when she began homeschooling, that she was going to be shaping her children’s character and focusing on teaching and educating them, when it was really her very own heart that needed shaping.  It was her character, her heart that needed the most work.

Isn’t that so true? Can you relate?  I know I can. I agree with Rachael and know that God is using me being at home with the boys to mold and shape me into His image.  My children and I hold one another accountable for our actions and reactions- our heart- character.  There have been many occasions when the boys have come to me and said, “momma, do you think you said that in love?” I love that!!! It is very humbling to hear! I went to my children and gave them permission to judge my character (my heart) and to share with me my blind spots.  I am not giving them ‘authority’ over me or allowing them to become the ‘parent”, or to put us on equal planes,  yet I am allowing them to speak into my heart so that I too can grow and become all that God has called and created me to be.

 how to have a heart for your children

 It is a beautiful time to share and discuss our hearts with one another.  We are a family, a team, and we are stronger together.  Together we stand, divided we fall.  We do not fight against flesh and blood.  If I am going to imitate Christ in all that I say, think, and do, then I need accountability from the very ones that are with me all day, every day, my children. It is a beautiful process to have God use my children to humble me and have me get on my knees to my children, look at them in the eye and say, “Son, you are right, I am very sorry.  Will you forgive me for xxxx.”  The smile on their face and the love that we all feel coming down from our heavenly Father is worth it all.  I will drop to my knees and ask for forgiveness in a heart beat and I want my children doing the same.  God’s word tells us that if we do not forgive others, then He will not forgive us.  I also want my children to know the love and grace of our heavenly Father and how much he loves and forgives us, unconditionally.  May I continue to learn to love and forgive them the same way!

“Our children are constantly watching us whether we want them to or not.  They are seeing it all.  And they don’t just watch – they imitate”, says Rachael. Isn’t that SO true! I recall years ago when I was visiting my sister and her 3 children, and they were probably only 8 years old, I went and grabbed my Bible and started reading it.  I kept on reading it and couldn’t put it down.  Next thing I know, my niece comes and sits beside me with a Bible in her hand and wants to read The Word as well.  I was floored at what I saw occur.  It was if God had hit me with a lightening bolt and said, “Be ye imitators of me, do as I do, think as I think, say what I say, because little eyes are watching you!”  Very profound moment in my life!

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 is to be our lifestyle and Rachael points this out so beautifully.  She states in her book, “The discipleship of our kids is an ongoing process and should permeate every aspect of our daily lives.  We should not just talk about our dependence upon God in tough times or in desperate times, but every day and at all times.”

This very verse is one of the verses that brought me to my knees and led me to homeschooling (click here to read the intro of my story). I recall crying out to God and saying, “God I want to see you first in every single decision,thought that I have and make.  God I want to know every little detail in my life has been brought to you and laid out before you.  God, I do not even want to schedule my child’s birthday party without going to you first and seeking your will on the matter.  I do not want to do anything, nothing at all, without seeking your face first.  I want you to be that involved in my life and for me to be that close to you God.”  Some might think that is extreme, silly, or overboard to have to go to God to figure out where to have your child’s birthday party, but I was that hungry for ALL of God in my life and to become one that he called “friend”.

I wanted to KNOW God, like He knew me. I was desperate for God to be an ever waking, present moment in my life.  I knew God was not a far off distant God, but in my years of walking with Christ, it had become that way.  The spirit of religion had taken root and relationship had left.  I had a greater head knowledge of God than a heart knowledge.  I wanted my heart to hunger and thirst for Him, like it did when I was a newborn Christian.  I was tired of religion.  Tired of fighting my flesh! Tired of doing things in my own strength, simply because I didn’t know how to do it in the power of His.  God’s word says,”seek and you shall find.” I found Him in the resting place. I found Him by humbling myself.  I found Him by experiencing His love and grace.  I found Him by receiving all He had done for me on the cross.  I found Him by saying, “here I am Lord, use me for your glory.” I found Him – a love greater than life itself.  I found my Lord and Savior, the lover of my soul.  I found a man I cannot live a day without! I found God Himself.

Rachael discusses the power of God revealed in nature.  God is everywhere, in everything.  When you look at nature, you see the hand of God. She mentions Psalm 139 and how God created and fashioned us in our mother’s womb. I recently wrote an article on Psalm 139:14.  Click here to get a greater grasp of that verse and make sure you “own” it for yourself.

Rachael discusses the power of prayer and her cry to God in homeschooling her children.  I love her quote, “When I come before the throne of grace on my knees, in humility and submission to His will for our home school, then He remains our focus.”  When she wrote that in her book, it brought me back to me being on my knees in submission for the Lord’s will in my life to home school my children.

on my knees crying out to God to change my heart

Rachael ends the chapter with discussing how God’s glory is revealed when we worship Him.

Ah, yes! Let us worship and adore the King!  God is to be given our highest praise!  When “I” fell in love with Him, I couldn’t help but praise, shout, clap, dance before Him.  He raptured my heart and I desire to give him my all.  For years I just sat in church, and now I can’t stand still, haha!  I love watching my children praise the Lord.  They are being brought up to praise and worship God and adore Him.  No fear of man, solely fear of God. It is beautiful to watch them have no chains, pure freedom in Christ.

If you are not hungry for the things of God, then neither will your kids be.  “What you behold, you become!”  Are you beholding Christ? Is He the lover of your soul? Do you crave spending time alone with God?  Not to get something from Him or to get your needs met, or a prayer answered, but just to be with Him!  The more you know Him and are with Him, the more you can’t stand to be away from Him. He is good!!! :)

Where are you spending most of your time?

Do you read God’s word together as a family? Do your children see you reading God’s word? Do you pray together as a family? How are you modeling your love for God to your children? Do you see God working on your heart as well as your children? Do you have a heart for your children?

Stay tuned… Chapter 2.  Please share your thoughts and comments below. Where are you in your walk with the Lord? Can you relate to Rachael or myself? Are you struggling right now with your walk? How can I pray for you? 

I love feedback! Like it? Click the Facebook button or tweet it. Thanks!

Carrie :)

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura @ Hand Signs & Expressions January 31, 2012 at 6:40 pm

I just saw your post on fb book club saying you just finished chapter 3 and when I came to read your post regarding chapter 3, you encouraged to ready back to introduction if I had not read any of your posts from the beginning. How very true our children are constantly watching us – you hit right on the nail when you said if the children don’t see you hungry for the things of God, neither will they! I’ve got some work cut out for me. It’s so easy to be busy, but I have to be the one to discipline myself that God comes first through the day. Thanks so much for the heart felt post and encouragement.

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Carrie Raab January 31, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Hey Laura! It is nice to spur one another one towards good works! Thank you for your encouraging words towards me! I appreciate it! Being busy and getting distracted is a great tool that the enemy likes to use to get our eyes/focus off the Lord. I like knowing his schemes, b/c I am more aware of his subtle attacks and it helps sharpen my discernment to what he is doing/trying to do and where I need to refocus and get in tune/alignment with God. I am cheering you on! Blessings to you and your family!

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Clytie January 19, 2012 at 10:17 pm

What a beautiful and heart-felt post. I especially felt the part where you talk about admitting your mistakes to your kids – and apologizing humbly. Wow.

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Carrie Raab January 20, 2012 at 12:55 am

Hey Clytie! Thank you so very much for your kind words and posting a comment! Humility is an aspect Jesus greatly walked in and one we all need to emulate. It is a process, for sure! :) We are all on the journey together! Bless you!!!

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Jen @ Gricefully Homeschooling January 19, 2012 at 3:32 am

Very good post as well.

When you said, “We do not fight against flesh and blood,” I was saying…”yes, Amen!”

Thank you for being so encouraging. Go glad to have meet you through this book club and can’t wait to get to know you more.

PS. Keep the recipes coming…always love new non-dairy ones as we have milk {and soy} allergies and intolerance in our house.

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Carrie Raab January 19, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Hey Jen! Thanks for reading and commenting on my post. I appreciate your kind words! It has been wonderful getting to know you and all the other women. We will have to keep doing this! I will also keep sharing my nondairy recipes with you! Oh, wow… soy too… hopefully you guys enjoy rice and almond milk. We LOVE it! I need another refrigerator just to stock milk! :) Bless you sweet friend!

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Lauren January 17, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Yes! this is good stuff! Those verses in Deut. have been on my heart and mind constantly since we began our homeschool journey for real last year! Amazing how something as simple as sitting down to read the Word can inspire others to do the same – and it makes me very conscious of what I spend my time doing when the kids are around (IE on the computer and how I get cranky when they “bother” me :D). I definitely need to WORSHIP more, putting music on during the day helps with that I find!

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Carrie Raab January 20, 2012 at 1:13 am

Hey Lauren! Thanks for your comment! I love the feedback! Ah, yes, worship! What I crave!!! We always have praise music going on in the house. My son never ever turns his christian radio station off in his room. We love to praise and worship in our house.. we are the “crazy” folk who raise their hands, get down on their face and cry for hours in His presence, and just worship like we are in Heaven!!! Praise changes the atmosphere! When things are stressful or if the kids are not cooperating, we just start praising the Lord and within minutes, the boys and I are smiling, full of joy, and the atmosphere is shifted back to the Kingdom of God. Try it, it is amazing! God inhabits the praises of His people! Light outshines darkness. In His presence, there is fullness of joy! He is good!!! Just talking about Him is getting me all fired up. I just love Him so!!! I could just praise Him and talk about the goodness of God all day long. He is GOOD!
I am blessed to be reading this book with you and on the homeschool journey together. I love community! I love the support! I am blessed to have you all walking it out with me! Bless you!

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Meredith January 17, 2012 at 7:59 pm

This was wonderful.
I really enjoyed hearing your heart about this…

Thank you so much. I love your heart.

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Carrie Raab January 17, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Awww, thanks Meredith! I really appreciate that! Bless you and thank you so much for reading my post! :)

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Amanda @ ThePelsers January 17, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Now that’s being vulnerable – allowing yourself to be accountable to your kids. I love it!

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Carrie Raab January 17, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Hey Amanda! Thanks so much for reading my post! Yes, it is very humbling to get on one knee and ask your kids to forgive you for sinning against them and against God. I never want my kids to walk in bitterness, unforgiveness, etc. I want them to love like Jesus loves and lives their lives sold out for Him!!! Bless you and thanks for leading this amazing book club! We appreciate you! :)

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Eileen @ Ordained Praise January 17, 2012 at 1:27 am

What a joy to hear about your deep love for the Lord.

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Carrie Raab January 17, 2012 at 2:40 am

Hey Eileen! Awww… thanks so much! Bless you! Thank you for reading my post and your kind remarks!

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kelli-AdventurezInChildRearing January 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm

We are needing to up the “annie” on our family devotions – mama and boys do it all the time, but we need to share more with daddy at night (instead of TV or movie or whatever) 😉

I can vouch for the fact that your boys are growing with godly character – they are respectful and kind – a joy to be around! Can’t wait to see our friends again! :)

Beautiful post Carrie!

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Carrie Raab January 16, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Hey Kelli! Thanks for reading and commenting! I appreciate your kind words about my boys! Raising them is constant work and you can never take a day off, lol. We will reap what we sow! I’m staying on my knees and praying for the Lord to consume them with His unfailing love. I am believing they will be world changers and warriors for the Kingdom of God! Yours too! :)

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