DAILY DEVOTIONALS BY PASTOR VICTOR BORCHARD
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The Heart and Danger of Parenting
By: Pastor Victor Borchard
The Heart Crayon: Heart Matters
“Addressing the heart matters more than controlling behavior.” – Ed Moll & Tim Chester
Defiance and compliance are tricky creatures. We can be outwardly compliant while inwardly defiant. Sitting on the outside, but standing on the inside.
As nice as it is to have our kids do what we say, it’s nicer still when they obey from the heart. This is the task of shepherding. We are shepherding the hearts of our children away from unbelief and towards trusting Christ.
It’s been said there are two kinds of sermons in the world. One kind says, “Do better,” the other says, “Trust Christ.” Maybe those are the two kinds of parents in the world, too.
Personal Reflection: My parenting reflects the biblical truth that I am actively shepherding the hearts of my children rather than simply trying to control their behavior. Agree or disagree? Why or why not?
Mark 7:14-23, ESV.
14 And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” 17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
The Danger Crayon: Legalism Kills
“Don’t train your child to be a legalist.” – Ed Mill & Tim Chester
Legalism kills because it’s based upon a lie: You can make the grade by earning it. While that might work in school, it never works in spirituality. You see, grace is opposed to earning. A free gift excludes merit.
We train our kids to be legalists whenever we make them earn our love, acceptance or forgiveness. That road is a dead end with deadly consequences. Legalism kills, but grace saves.
Let’s offer our kids the grace of unconditional love, acceptance and forgiveness. Then, let’s show them how to live a ‘thank you’ life. Everything we do is simply saying “thank you” for all that He’s done.
Luke 15:11-32, ESV.
11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything. 17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.” ’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate. 25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32
It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’ ”
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