Shepherding Your Child’s Heart (Part 1)

Proverbs 4:23

This lesson we will study the heart of a child and how a parent is involved in shepherding their child’s heart.

Your Child’s Heart is NOT a blank slate –

The second thing to know about your child’s heart is it’s nature is sinful and rebellious. That 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 in the heart. 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.

God puts a heavy responsibility on the heart. Over 800 times in the scriptures the heart is mentioned. Believe in thine heart, foolish heart is darkened, secrets of the heart, purposed heart, and many other verbs associated with the heart.


  • Proverbs 23:26 – Examples
    • Kids do what they see
    • Child’s view of God is shaped by watching dad
    • Child’s character is shaped by watching mom as the first visible example of a soul in subjection
    • Family sins, familiar paths, ruts for the future
    • Inconsistency & Hypocrisy lead to provocation


  • Proverbs 22:15 – Chastening is a direct line to the heart
    • Training obedience – Hebrews 5:8
    • Psalm 119:67
    • Proverbs 29:15
    • Proverbs 13:24
    • Proverbs 23:14 – establishing God’s order and the role God’s given you
    • Proverbs 19:18 Your child’s feelings are not the gauge for discipline
    • Counting and yelling will train your child not to respond when you say something but to wait until the yelling begins or the counting.
    • Swedish Spanking Ban Statistics


  • Influences – 1 Corinthians 15:33
    • Your time – Your influence or someone else’s
    • 168 hours in a week – How many hours are spent around the words of God?
  • Friends influence
  • Education influence – Proverbs 19:27
  • Sow the seed, the words of  God – Deuteronomy 6:1-14
    • familiarity with the Bible
    • laying a foundation to build on