Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap
Kids are messy. Anyone who has them knows this is true. The room will be spotless but then they enter it… and it explodes!
I used to keep a spotless house. I mean eat off the floor spotless. I thought that it was really important for me to be a good housekeeper… but then I realized that in order to keep it spotless I had to constantly be on my kids, pick this up, put that back, did you not see I just washed that, I just mopped this floor, look at this mess, did you not see I just finished vacuuming, etc.
I was always either harping on them or trailing right behind them like a hoover vac picking up as fast as they messed up and when they asked me to play along, I was sure to let them know that I couldn’t because I was too busy going behind them cleaning up their mess.
Then one day I realized I was busy cleaning the wrong things…
I realized that the kids were messing up rooms, but I was messing up hearts.
I had these children looking to me to help them keep a clean heart and I was too busy worried about keeping a clean house to see it. I was more worried about the splatter marks on the bathroom mirror to see the splatter marks of sin that were on our hearts.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
Today I see that kids mess rooms, but adults mess hearts.
These children entered this world as little sinners. Yes, their little hearts are slap full of the seeds of sin… yet their hearts carry no worries, no dissipation, no drunkenness . They have hearts full of the seeds of sin, but they are not yet weighted down.
I realized that I was the one that was weighting down their hearts with all that stuff…
I was just taking my weighted down heart and dumping it on over onto theirs…
…I will not be a burden to you. I don’t want what you have—I want you. After all, children don’t provide for their parents. Rather, parents provide for their children. I will gladly spend myself and all I have for you, even though it seems that the more I love you, the less you love me.
2 Corinthians 12:14-15 (NLT)
Is it possible that many times we as parents look at the carefreeness of our children and are jealous of it and so seek to destroy it by “bringing them to reality”? We look at them and wonder how they do not see all the things in the floor we are tripping all over, the mess in the floorboard of the car we are shoving over, the crumbs on the counter, the dirty clothes covering the floor, or the pizza smeared all over their face clear up to their forehead…
So we decide it is our responsibility as parents to make sure they do see them…
The funny thing is that we provide them with all this stuff, then we get upset when we are tripping all over it.
Kids can’t have a floor full of toys for us to trip over unless we have allowed them in the house or purchased them for them. They can’t have a floor full of dirty clothes without first having received a closet full of clean ones, that once again we allowed or provided. They wouldn’t leave crumbs all over the counter and food smeared all over their face if it were not for the abundance of food that we have allowed and provided for them. I mean, really, there is no need to worry about consuming crumbs when a brand new feast is coming in just a few hours.
This is parenting in most of America.
We weigh our kids hearts down with worries and we don’t even realize it… because we call it “giving them the things we never had”. We load them up and then we fuss at them for not being able to handle it all.
Our job as parents is not to burden our children down, but to build them up. If we are going to provide them with all this stuff, we must be careful to not put too much stock in the stuff… We must be purposeful to keep all things in perspective.
In this day of America, if we are not careful we will end up training our children to be very good at white washing tombs.
We may keep the house clean, but how much filth have we shoved into the closet of our kids heart in order to do so?
How many opportunities to clean out the hearts of our children did we pass over in favor of cleaning out the garage or filling up the garage with more stuff…
I am returning to this post after about a month… after I read this article, I Wonder If Sunday School Is Destroying Our Kids, and reading this quote in it, “So why do we burden our children with the unbearable load of “being good little boys and girls like the heroes in the Bible”? We wouldn’t load a pack mule with the burdens we place on our children.”
Have you ever really stopped and thought of the burdens of no eternal value we place on our children?
While all the while we completely ignore the things that are eternal in them… like their souls.
Take a moment and walk through your home and look over your calendar… how much time have you spent training your child up in the things of God… in discussing with them the fears of their hearts… as compared with training them to catch a baseball and/or “discussing” with them the importance of the fears of surprise company coming over and the house being a wreck?
Are you busy white washing tombs and teaching your children how to do it as well?