Turn Your Heart to The Children
May 21, 2022
Malachi 4:6, NIV
"He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction."
Children are subject very near and dear to my heart, and also to the heart of our Abba Father, our Father which is in heaven! We hallow (reverence) His name, we ask for His kingdom to come, and His will to be done here on earth as it is in heaven. But did you ever stop and wonder how does that happen? What does it mean for His kingdom to come and His will be done here on earth as it is in heaven?! Is it about great ministries, and doing great things, and speaking to the crowds of people? I think not. I think it's as simple as loving what Jesus loves. When we do, His kingdom comes and His will is done here on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus loves the children! His heart is toward the children. He said, "Let the little children come to me, and DO NOT FORBID THEM, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Wow!... Now that sounds like a heart that's turned toward the children. Do not forbid them! Do not send them away. Let them come!
Our society says we have bigger better things to do. Let me serve myself first. Let me make sure I have a position in the world so that I have something to offer my children. Society says send the children away. Send them to school. Send them to the babysitter. Send them off with their friends to have fun. Society says get "fixed" so we don't have more children, cause we don't think we can handle more. What does it mean for our hearts to be turned toward our children? To me it means to honor them, to love them, to cherish them. To care about their hearts. To value what they value. To me it means laying down my life for my children, just like Jesus lay down His life for me. Jesus is the one true sacrifice and He gave His entire life by leaving heaven, coming to earth, being persecuted, and ultimately dying on the cross. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He's the creator of the universe, and yet He laid down His life for us?! The very people that crucified Him afresh day after day?! The truth is, that we need Jesus! We need hearts that are renewed and sprinkled with the blood of Jesus. Without that we are just selfish creatures who are unwilling to lay down our life for someone else, even our children.
If we want to see a change in the world, we need to see a change in our homes and our families. We need to love like Jesus loves, and value what Jesus values. We need to cry out to Him to turn our hearts toward our children. We need to allow Him to soften our hearts and show us why we do what we do and think how we think.
Love is a choice, and not a feeling. It's an action. It's doing what our flesh recoils against for the betterment of another person. "Lord, turn our hearts toward our children!" Is this the reason that our earth is cursed?!... By what Malachi 4:6 has to say?! Yes, we do need to humble ourselves and pray so that God can heal our land. But maybe He wants to first of all start in our homes by turning our hearts turned toward our children. Do our children feel safe in our home? Is our home a haven? Is it a place they love to be? Or do they feel a need to go somewhere else to have fun and find fulfillment? Is home a place where the people that love me most are? Or is home a place where I'd rather not be? Cause I am always being reprimanded or I can never get it right, or never doing enough for Mom and Dad? Is home the place that I am understood the most and loved the best?
We need to teach and train our children from a heart of love and valuing them. From seeing their worth, rather than seeing them as a problem! Our children are never the problem... Their sin nature is the problem. When we let the little children come to us and find fulfillment in their relationship with us, they are not going to want their sin nature. They are going to want to be like us. And they will look to us to show them how to get rid of their sin nature. "Children are an inheritance from the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is His reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are children born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them he will not put to shame when he confronts the enemies in the gates." (Psalms 127:3-5, BSB)
I don't think we very often grasp the true value of children in the kingdom of heaven! Are children a true gift, in your mind? If they are, they won't be pushed aside and take second place to everything else. If they are truly valued they will be given an important place in our home. A place of value and worth. They will grow up knowing that they have a place in God's kingdom that only they can fill. They WILL be those arrows in the hands of a mighty man. What does an arrow do? It takes down the enemy. It hits the mark. The mandate that the word of God gives us to, "train up a child in the way he should go, and when he's old he won't depart from it", (Proverbs 22:6, BSB) has way less to do with how WE train THEM to live, as it has to do with US training ourselves to live and love like Jesus would...With sacrificial love, and laying down our life for our children, and living with the mindset of "Let the little children come to me, and do not forbid them!" (Matthew 19:14, NKJV) It has to do with us treating them as though they do have great value and worth and are truly a gift (an inheritance) from the Lord. "Little children, let us not love in word, but action and in truth!" (1 John 3:18, BSB)