"When I consider the relationships in my life, I behave out of two responses: the heart of a rule follower, or the heart of one who loves. I pray that those around me will see that I have the heart of a lover and not that of a Pharisee. I want them to passionately love Jesus above all else."
I love a good rule. Rules provide me with a great deal of safety. If there are rules, I know what's expected of me. Rules motivate me. They give me direction. But what if by being a rule follower I'm missing out on something more?
When I consider the relationships in my life, I behave out of two responses: the heart of a rule follower, or the heart of one who loves.
A rule follower behaves like a Pharisee. A Pharisee finds great peace in knowing that he's following all rules because he's "supposed to." The heart of a lover is motivated differently. It finds peace in knowing that he's pleased the one who's devotion he's seeking.
What if my kids approached their relationship with Christ like one who is in love rather than Pharisee who is only interested in following the rules? Have I taught them that a Christian is simply a rule follower? Am I teaching the kids in my ministry and family that it's more important to follow rules than it is to be in love with Jesus? An authentic follower of Jesus is one who is motivated out of a heart of love.
How can I teach my kids to live the difference? How can I motivate them to follow
Jesus out of a heart full of love rather than a Parasitical heart?
First, I can model it. Many times I'm tempted to keep my faith journey to myself. It
is, after all, a deeply personal matter. I need to let my kids see me being authentic. I need to find ways to find ways to show them that motivations are from a heart of love, not the heart of a Pharisee. I am not motivated by the rules that are associated with Christian living. I'm motivated by a heart of love for Jesus and drawing closer to Him. I do this by discussing faith and how we're growing personally in our faith often. If we never talk about it, they'll never understand that there is a difference.
Secondly, I pray. It may seem that this is oversimplifying the issue but there's great power in praying specific prayers for our kids. I pray constantly that my kids will deeply love Jesus and will be challenged to live differently than those around them. I pray that my kids are lovers of righteousness. That they seek to do what is right not because they're supposed to, but because they want to.
As I seek daily to become a more authentic follower of Jesus, I pray that those around me will see that I have the heart of a lover and not that of a Pharisee. I want them to passionately love Jesus above all else.
Rest assured, my froyo craving was satisfied with some simple instruction and a coffee flavored froyo.
How about you? How do you teach your kids to understand the difference between
having the heart of a lover vs. the heart of Pharisee?