Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.
Snickers, our dog, has a regimen of checkups, vaccines and periodic treatments to guard his heart from disease. His health care rivals mine, and eclipses it in the fact that he is flea and tick free, enjoying a monthly groom and bath with a bonus sporty bandana thrown in.
Beyond pets, we are no strangers to heart-healthy advice for ourselves. Diets, exercises, screenings, stress-relievers… you know the drill. The catch, like all best practices we are advised of, comes in the transfer of useful information into our actual lifestyles. We can know it, mentally assent to it, speak well of it… but in the end, do we live it?
This proverb, in context this year of raising our kids in wisdom, gets right to the gizzard of the issue. Our core, whether we refer to it as “spirit,” “inner life,” the “center” of who we are, or “heart,” is worth keeping in shape. He who controls the pilot house has the ship.
Everything flows from this heart, from thinking to feeling, speaking to acting.
If we are not focused upon the Lord, the very Kind and Gracious God who created us is cut off from having mastery over our heart. Left to our own devices, it simply becomes who (or what) we give ourselves over to. And there are a million devilish contenders for the throne of our lives. Over time, the influence of that heart-changer will lead us farther from God, farther into bondage, and farther into the manifestations of serious spiritual heart disease.
Teach your children for heart change, not just the veneer of good behaviors. Your work is done when the Lord has their heart. You’ve demonstrated that to them… right?