One of these things is not like the other! The products in this picture guard against germs and threats to our health and well-being. Advertising and marketing campaigns, news reports and word of mouth advice encourage us to be proactive in our fight against harm to our homes, possessions, and bodies. In Proverbs 4:23 King Solomon imparts the wisdom of applying a protective guard for the sake of our hearts. Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life. This Bible verse urges us to make guarding our hearts a priority because everything we are and do flows from the heart. The robe that Hannah fashioned for Samuel was a priestly robe. (A Robe for Samuel--April 07, 2015) Samuel donned his robe to carry out his priestly duties. The robe set Samuel apart as a priest of the Lord. Samuel’s Growing Robe framed his behavior.
We want to impress on our children the value of guarding their hearts since their conduct before God is at stake. The conduct of the faith community matters to God because our conduct reveals how much God matters to us. In his letter to the believers in Philippi, the Apostle Paul advised them concerning their conduct. Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. (Philippians 1:27). Understanding the relationship between the condition of their heart and the resulting conduct is life-long. I am living proof of that! Here are some “On Guard” principles to encourage your children in their pursuit of conduct worthy of the gospel.
Give your children an eternal perspective of life. The essence of the Christian faith is eternal life through Jesus. Our physical bodies will pass away, but our hearts will live forever with God. (John 10:28)
Build a bridge between your child’s conduct and their gratitude for what Jesus has done for them. Emphasize how much God loves them personally. Godly conduct flows out of a heart of thanksgiving for a God who provided eternal life through His Son. (John 3:16)
Cultivate your child’s conscience toward God (Faith Feedings…12 Principles to nourish your child’s spiritual development is written for the purpose of securing the conscience of the next generation for faith in God). Introduce the Biblical code of conduct that will serve to teach them to do what is right in God’s eyes. (Psalm 19:8)
Elevate the concept of being clean before God. Take the lead from one of the numerous commercials that stress the value of everything from clean hands to clean clothes. The truth of the Bible cleans our hearts. Jesus even prayed for us to be clean before God. (John 17:17)
The products in the picture came from my own shelves. I do not minimize the need for practical guards for the sake of safety and disease prevention. Ultimately, however, we are eternal beings and God is our shield. God makes protecting our hearts a priority. Let’s follow His lead and train up a generation who are bent on protecting their hearts from the wiles of the world. Indeed, out of our hearts our conduct flows.
OPP (opportunity for action): Begin to sew (sow) Proverbs 4:23 into your child’s Growing Robe. Grab your closest bottle of hand sanitizer and say to your child or grandchild, “ You know, God wants our hearts to be clean too.” You can take it from there, Mom.
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