Shepherding Your Child’s Heart (Part 2)

Proverbs 4:23 & Luke 8:4-15


Your Child’s Heart is NOT a blank slate –

His natural state is sinful and rebellious. What does that mean? It means it is naturally selfish, seeks out its own comfort at other’s expense and its hopes and dreams are wicked (Genesis 8:21). Galatians 5:19-21 lays out the works of the flesh in an adult, and Matthew 15:18-20 points to the origin of these works. All these things are naturally bound in the heart of a child. How many of you had to train your child to lie so he or she’d know how to do it? How many of you had to train your child to disobey so he or she’d know how to do it? Those are things that come naturally and are refined over time if they are never checked.

Last week we saw three things that directly affect the heart.


The parable of the sower and the seed is a parable about hearts. We briefly began to look at this and we’ll pick it up this week.

The Wayside Heart 

  • No understanding because the traffic is uncontrolled – no filter – busy
    • Heart is not applied to know wisdom as Proverbs 2-3 instruct
    • Pilate, Herod are good examples of this heart
  • Separate & Protect – If I want to raise a garden, I will dedicate a certain piece of land to it, protect that area, spend time in that area and plant the seeds that I want to harvest.
  • Unfortunately, this wayside scattering is the approach of most Christian parents.
    • Scatter a little Bible on Sunday morning and cross your fingers hoping something comes of it.
    • Dad, control the traffic

The Stony Heart 

  • No Root – Jesus Christ not present – Jesus Christ is the root – Isaiah 11:10, Romans 15:12, Revelation 5:5, Revelation 22:16
  • Trial, tribulations, temptations weren’t the problem, they just revealed the truth.
  • Leading children to the Lord
    • God does not send children to Hell. Knowledge of Good & Evil must be present – Genesis 3:5, Deuteronomy 1:39
    • 2 Timothy 1:5 – Timothy’s heritage
    • Proverbs 23:14 – Chastening brings sin to light, establishes punishment for sin and helps children want to choose to do right
    • Practical things in dealing with children about salvation:
      • Let them speak – 1 John 3:20 If our heart condemn us… Your child’s heart will be convicted when the Holy Spirit deals with him/her about their sin
      • Ask them why they want to “get saved” or “pray” and let them tell you
    • Provide an environment where salvation is possible.

The Heart in the Weeds 

  • The words choked out with worldliness – influences
  • Cares of this world, deceitfulness of riches, pleasures of this life, worldly lusts.
  • It  “becometh unfruitful” indicating that it had the opportunity to bear fruit (Mark 4:19, Luke 8:14)
  • The soil here is good, but there is competition in the heart
    • Common education these days will compete with the words of God
    • Bad music will compete with the words of God
    • Sports, Celebrity will compete with the words of God
  • Demas. 2 Timothy 4:10
  • Your time is valuable – particularly as kids get older when the flesh “wakes up” in the teen years and there are more battles your child will be fighting.

The Good Ground 

  • the soil is well prepared and the seed is planted and nurtured to fruition
  • Psalm 78 – In the end your child is not a passive moral agent as psychology and worldliness would have you believe, rather every soul is responsible for his/her own decisions according to Ezekiel 18:20. As parents we bear the responsibility of passing on the words of God to our children and giving them opportunity to grow up right.