THE CHILD’S HEART: SEARCH AND RESCUE
Before we can address issues of our child’s heart, we need to understand their heart. This means searching the Scriptures and hearing from God’s Word how he describes whom our children and we are and not what social science often says.
Often overlooked in parenting books, to not understand biblically the make-up of our child’s heart is like a missionary trying to bring the gospel to an area where they do not know the language or the culture. We need to be able to communicate in the context of the receiver of the message. You as a parent are God’s chosen ambassador to bring to your child the gospel so learning about your child’s heart is critical.
First you child, as all children, is created and born in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27; 9:6; 1 Corinthians 11:7). As one in the image of God it means there are inherent qualities that reflect the nature and essence of God. That is why all human life has dignity and value and to take the life of another human is so heinous. It is also why whether a person is a believer in Jesus Christ or an atheist, they can do things that are good for society and mankind.
Being in the image of God means also there is an eternal dimension where a child born begins a life that will never end. It is during the physical realm of our life here that the factors of eternal life are determined as indicated in Hebrews 27; “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.”
Being in the image of God also means that our child is capable of having a conscious personal relationship with God. They can understand enough about God even at an early age because they can relate to many of his qualities and attributes so the he is not like the “unknown god” of Acts 17:23 but the God of verses 27, 28; “that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’
Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.”