During a planning session last week my wife, Susan, caught a statement I made and made a Quote of it. What I said was, “TRANSFORM THE PARENT AND YOU TRANSFORM THE PARENTING!”
Many parents buy our materials or attend our programs hoping to gain some added trick, or key to dealing with their child. The more problems parents face the more ready they are to attend courses, visit websites, read books, etc.
Yet the answer is rarely found in some clever way of handling children. The key is actually found in a transformation process within the parent. The issue is not so much about the “doing” of parenting but the “being”.
Consider such instructions from the Bible as Paul’s directive to the church at Ephesus.
“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
Being “tender-hearted” is not a matter of learning how to do nice things for people. It involves the being of each person – the way they really are, not just the way they act.
The same is true in parenting. A good parent is not someone who has learned a bunch of psychological tricks to use on their child, or a set of strict rules which will work well. A good parent is one who has the right heart toward their child and who carries a level of internal commitment to God and their family, prompting them to make wise choices and create good outcomes.
So, when we “transform” the parent, the automatic result is that the parenting is transformed too. If we make the parent more caring, more loving or more humble, those changes will be reflected in the way they interact with their child.
The most important place to be transformed is the “heart”. The heart is the “heart of the matter”. The way we respond from our heart dictates everything else. If we have a proud heart, or our heart carries jealousy, anger, shame, selfishness, or any such thing, our whole being and the words we speak will reflect it.
Parents, I encourage and challenge you to open your heart to God. Ask Him to reveal to you what is in your heart that needs to be changed. Ask Him to change your heart. Ask Him to give you a heart that is not hard like stone, but is tender and sensitive to Him and others. Your heart is the part of you God is most concerned about.
Take careful note of what God wants to happen to every parent. God prompted one of His prophets to speak about something very important to God – that the “heart” of parents would turn toward their children and that the heart of the children would turn to the parents.
“And he will turn the heart of the fathers to their children and the heart of the children to their fathers, or I will come and curse the earth.” Malachi 4:6.
Do you want to transform your parenting? Then make it your aim to have a transformed heart!