The Tender Heart

The Tender Heart
Author: Barb Barnhart, Preschool Coordinator
Because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they would become a desolation and a curse, and because you have torn your clothes and wept before Me, I Myself have heard you—this is the Lord’s declaration— therefore, I will indeed gather you to your fathers, and you will be gathered to your grave in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster that I am bringing on this place.
— 2 Kings 22:19-20
God has always wanted to be in a relationship with the people He has created. From Adam and Eve until today, with you and me, God has wanted us to love and trust Him. He purposefully had His Word written throughout Biblical history so that we would be able to know Him—and ultimately learn to trust Him.

On Sunday, Pastor Tim shared a piece of this Biblical history by recounting the reign of King Josiah. His reign as King of Judah began when he was eight years old. Think of the eight-year-olds you may come in contact with. How would they fare as king? Josiah is remembered in 2 Kings as being one who did what was right in the Lord’s sight and walked in all the ways of his ancestor David; he did not turn to the right or the left.

Working with young children, you come to realize that tender hearts are nurtured and encouraged by those around them, especially, their parents. I see that King Josiah comes into his reign ready because of his mom, Jedidah. His heart was ready to do what was right because of her loving guidance. She had to have loved God with her whole heart, soul, and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5). Jedidah would have been taught this from her family.

A tender-hearted child is modeled by the adults around them. How is your tender heart?

As parents or guardians who have been blessed with children, you have the opportunity to do as Jedidah did. You, too, can impact the lives of your children so they are prepared to have a tender heart toward God. This is something that is demonstrated and instructed to children by adults who first love and trust God. Your child seeing you read God’s Word, talking about what you have learned, and praying (communicating with God) are some of the greatest ways to develop a tender heart in your children.

A tender-hearted child is modeled by the adults around them. How is your tender heart? Take time this week to pay attention to your heart. Are the children around you seeing your love for God modeled in how you read the Bible for yourself and when you share God’s Word with them? Are you praying with your child? Does your child see you pray? How do you demonstrate obedience to God? These are the things that matter most. As you model this tender heart, you are helping your child develop a tender heart towards God and towards His truth.
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