A Heart Based Approach Changes Everything

"God is concerned about more than just behavior. He's concerned about the heart."
Many parents use a simple behavior modification approach to raise their children. “If you get your homework done, then you can go out and play.” “If you clean your room, then you can play on the computer.”

Unfortunately children trained this way often develop a “What's in it for me?” mentality. “If I don't get something out of it, why should I obey?”

 Furthermore, heavy doses of reward and punishment breed selfishness in kids and an entitlement mentality.

God's Plan Goes Deeper
God is concerned with more than behavior, just doing the right thing. He's interested in the heart. The heart contains motivations, emotions, convictions, and values. A heart-based approach to parenting looks deeper. Parents still require children to finish their homework and clean up their rooms but the way they give the instructions is different.

Instead of just getting things done and giving a reward, parents look for long-term change in their kids. Sometimes children aren't ready to change on a heart level and parents must work to address the heart. They may need more relationship to open the heart or they may need to enforce firmer boundaries to show kids that the way they're living just isn't going to work.

Sometimes parents think that a heart-based approach simply means more dialogue or more affection. Those things are helpful, but it’s much, much more than that.

Developing Heart Qualities Brings Change to Behavior
A heart-based approach shares values and reasons behind rules. It focuses on character development, not just correct behaviors. It requires more dialogue, helping children understand how their hearts are resistant and need to develop cooperation. A heart-based approach is firm but also relational. It's a mindset on the part of the parent that looks to develop heart qualities that then bring about significant change.

In our book Motivate Your Child Action Plan, we show
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parents how to develop a plan for any child of any age with any problem. We help parents move from Point A, where a child is experience a negative tendency, to Point B, a heart quality that will help the child overcome that tendency.

The Plan is modeled after the way God brings about change in his children. He calls that process sanctification. When parents follow these steps they are not only working in a way that will maximize change in their kids, but they are preparing those kids to relate more effectively to their heavenly Father.

As you consider your kids remember the words that God said to Samuel in 1 Samuel 16, “Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks on the heart.”

This idea was taken from the book, Motivate Your Child Action Plan, by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.

"God is concerned about more than just behavior. He's concerned about the heart."


We’re trying to build a more robust on-line community for parents through the following platforms. We invite you to join the conversation.

  1. On Parenting Blog - Leave a comment or question on any of the posts.
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  3. Regular Biblical Parenting Webinars with Dr. Scott Turansky. We'll do the next one after the holidays on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at 9:00 pm EST. Scott will be sharing new material on the qualities of a successful family. This will be the first in a series of webinars on this topic.

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Milan Tomic

Hi. I’m Designer of Blog Magic. I’m CEO/Founder of ThemeXpose. I’m Creative Art Director, Web Designer, UI/UX Designer, Interaction Designer, Industrial Designer, Web Developer, Business Enthusiast, StartUp Enthusiast, Speaker, Writer and Photographer. Inspired to make things looks better.

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