Why and How Should Kids Guard Their Heart?
What comes to mind when you think of a guard? Merriam-Webster says: To guard- “Watch over to protect or control, to secure or shield from impending danger.” Rachel aims our thoughts toward teaching kids to guard their heart for the purpose of purity and setting the course of their life in a right direction.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
So many things come to my mind when I think of a guard: a crossing guard, a defensive guard in basketball, and a security guard are just a few. Each guard takes an active role to protect.
The same goes for our hearts. Our responsibility as parents is to take an active role in teaching our children how to guard their heart against the impending danger of sexual impurity so prevalent in our culture.
Let’s model the tools we have in Scripture by keeping in mind the following principles as a structure for training young ones:
- Guard the mind – Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Guarding the mind is about treasuring God’s Word in our heart. (Psalm 119:11) Practical ways to treasure God’s Word is to set aside time at night to do family devotions together. Limit children’s time on media and KNOW what they are watching, reading, and listening to.
- Guard the mouth – Luke 6:45 says, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Words are powerful and can affect a child’s heart forever. Words are an overflow of the heart. Words that build-up can restore, rejuvenate, and encourage a child to fulfill their God-given purpose. But, careless words can damage and discourage a child’s heart, leaving them with a broken spirit. As parents we need to be intentionally mindful of the voices our kids hear daily. Whose or what voice is the loudest and clearest in our kids lives? They will surely model their speech accordingly.
- Guard the emotions – Proverbs 16:32 says, “Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.” 1 Corinthians also reminds, “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.” The world effectively portrays the slogan, “follow your heart,” through reality TV, movies, and comedies while showing little consequences to doing so. However, it is important to teach our children that emotions can be deceiving (Proverbs 14:12 & 29:11). God gave emotions to allow a love for Him and others. Satan wants nothing more than to entice our children with counterfeit love.
The Holy Spirit will equip and teach us as we yield to Him … not yielding to the culture around us. We must seek the Lord’s wisdom in guarding our child’s heart and teaching them to do the same.
Kids, how are you guarding your thoughts toward certain people? How are you guarding your speech (texting, snapchat, etc.) in talking with someone you like? How are you guarding your heart emotionally?