James K. A. Smith puts it this way in his book You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power Of Habit, “The center of gravity of the human person is located not in the intellect but in the heart. Why? Because the heart is the existential chamber of our love, and it is our loves that orient us toward some ultimate end or_ telos_. It’s not just that I ‘know’ some end or ‘believe’ in some telos. More than that, I long for some end. I want something, and want it ultimately. It is my desires that define me. In short, you are what you love.” This is true for adults and it’s even more true for our kids.
The inputs in a child’s heart form their hearts, minds, and actions for the rest of their lives. We want to expose and introduce them to things that will shape their hearts for good. The Bible is clear about what is good.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” - Philippians 4:8
What a great guide this verse is for us as we make choices about what to expose our kids to. Stop and think about the pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy things you can teach, show, and introduce to your kids. Every day, the world is full of opportunities to pour excellent and praiseworthy things into your kids’ hearts. Spring Break comes at just the right time to show them and let them “think about such things.”
Of course, the very best place to find these things is in God’s Word. The boys at PDS love to learn God’s Word. That’s why we have been focusing on scripture memory. It’s been an incredible joy to have hundreds of boys knocking on my office door to tell me they know the verse of the month. Sure, we encourage them with candy and ice cream sandwiches, but it’s clear the joy in their hearts once they say the verse. Their hard work will go well beyond the temporary benefits.
Pour the Bible into their hearts at home. Regularly read the Bible to them and point out the excellent, admirable, and praiseworthy things. Ask them to do the same. You will be amazed at the insights they have. Ask them to say the memory verse to you, and for more verses see this month’s calendar(link).
Being in God’s Word with your children will encourage them to hide God’s Word in their hearts (Psalm 119:11) and prepare them to live a noble life that glorifies our Heavenly Father.