WHO HAS YOUR SON’S HEART?
Indoctrination – sounds like a bad thing – like a communist “re-education” camp.
Indoctrination of children . . . that’s really over the line . . isn’t it?
No, it’s not.
It’s a very good thing . . . a very necessary thing in the process of raising men from boys.
Are you indoctrinating your children? If you aren’t, you should be because, rest assured, Dad & Mom, you may be passive in this matter but that has no bearing on the fact that your children are being indoctrinated from a very young age by serious competitors to your place in their lives and your worldview.
The heart of your child . . . your child’s allegiance, is the prize. Your competitors want it badly.
Perhaps the word makes some a bit squeamish so, let’s change up the nomenclature: Are you shaping your child’s beliefs, thinking, and actions? Which is just another way of asking, “Are you indoctrinating your child?” The definition of indoctrinate is: to teach.
Hopefully, you answered, “Yes,” because in a world of competing ideologies, one thing is certain: Your children will never be left to themselves to develop their own understanding of the world.
Someone is shaping your child’s beliefs, thinking, and actions. Someone is teaching, is indoctrinating your child. Who is it and what is being taught?
Take the comment made to me by a student of a prominent Christian college in California – the college trusted by many parents as a safe place to indoctrinate their children.
So, what did he tell me after his first year?
“I’m learning to reject my parent’s values.”
This, from the child of godly parents who had been highly generous to the college (not to mention myriad other Christian causes and individuals) after the tuition of approximately $40,000 had been paid.
Thank you Christian college!
Indoctrination is taking place every day of the life of your child. Are you going to be the strongest, deciding voice? It will only happen if you understand your responsibility to inform your child and you follow through – to actively endeavor to shape his beliefs, thinking, and actions.
By the time they’re in college and you’ve given money to your competitor, it’s too late.
We have to start much younger.
GIVE ME YOUR HEART, MY SON
When my 20-year-old son was a small child, it was evident that his heart was being drawn in many directions. It became starkly obvious to me that someone or something else could draw my son’s heart away from me. That was an unsettling moment but through prayer and conversation with older godly brothers, the Lord revealed what to do.
In a quiet moment, I got down, eye level, with the young lad, and said,
Son, give me your heart.
God made me to be your Daddy.
He gave you to me and me to you.
There are many things in this world that want your heart.
There are many things in this world that want to draw your heart away from Daddy.
But, Son, you must not let that happen.
Don’t give your heart to anyone or anything else.
Give your heart only to Daddy.
Give me your heart and I’ll always keep it safe.
My son was about 5 at the time. Had I understood this when he was younger, I would have started earlier but, I can tell you that the results were just amazing. This statement (so helpful in indoctrinating my son to what was right) became a quick “check” between us over the course of the following years.
“Son, who does your heart belong to?”
You and Your Son
Is your young son’s heart being drawn away from allegiance to you by peers, superhero toys, another man in his life, an institution, or an adult who doesn’t share your values?
Take action . . . even if he is a little older. The wording may have to change but the message is the same. Teach your son to look to you . . . not based on your authority but on the authority of the Word of God. Help your son (or daughter!) to understand that this is what God wants . . . not so you can exercise power but so you can assume your rightful place of responsibility in his life.
Teach your son that God tells him to honor and obey you (in Exodus chapter 20 and in Ephesians 6) then have a short discussion of what this means. Reading God’s Word has power. Let him see the words on the page.
To successfully raise a man from a boy, he has to look to you as the one from whom he learns. So start at the beginning. Teach him to look to you.
Don’t be shy about this, Dad or Mom. God has placed you in his life to impart to him what he needs to know about what to believe, how to think, and how to act in the process of becoming a man.
It’s a great honor, privilege, and responsibility but, with God’s help you can do an excellent job. God bless you and, see you next week.
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Matt Jacobson is a biblical marriage coach and founder of FaithfulMan.com a biblical marriage, parenting, and discipleship ministry providing written and audio teaching, as well as couples marriage coaching. He is the co-host (with his wife, Lisa) of Faithful Life Podcast and is author of the bestseller, 100 Ways to Love Your Wife. Matt is pastor of Tumalo Bible Fellowship and is married to Lisa, founder of Club31Women.com (they have 8 kids!).