by Britta Campbell
Luke 6:45 says, “…. for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” This verse has been impressed upon my mind recently as I have seen it play out in my life and the lives of my children.
Have you ever been reading a book to your child, for what feels like the hundredth time, and suddenly they are reading it to you? Have you accidentally said a bad word (only once!) to sadly discover it has been repeated half a dozen times by your child over the next week? Our minds, and those of our kids, are extremely impressionable, soaking up what they hear or see, good or bad, like a kitchen sponge! The books, songs, and conversations that our children hear again and again shape not only their vocabulary and verbal skills, but also their values and thought patterns. God tells us about this reality in his Word, “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure proceeds evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). Good and bad are stored up in our hearts, affecting our feelings, our thinking, and ultimately produce the words that we speak.
God graciously provides wisdom for us in how to navigate this fact of life: “Finally, brothers, whatever is good, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8).
As a parent, I have been challenged to be more thoughtful about what I say and what resources (books and songs) that I choose for my children. God encourages us that, “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11). “And so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). In other words, if we memorize the truth of God’s Word, He will help us internalize it that we may better battle sin. What a great promise! I have had the opportunity to see God fulfill this promise to our family whenever I hear Kiersten and Alten singing hymns or repeating Bible verses when they play by themselves. What a great joy this is!
As we start this new year, I challenge you to consider how you can help your children build up “good treasure” in their hearts by recognizing and celebrating things which are “worthy of praise”, namely, God Himself! Would you consider trying one of these ideas with our family in 2023?
- Start each breakfast or dinner with the same verse, Proverb, or Psalm and repeat it each day until everyone in the family knows it;
- Prioritize music playlists with worship songs or hymns;
- Read particularly Christian books or stories at bedtime.
Here are some resources that Jared and I have found to be helpful – we hope you find them helpful, too as you endeavor to press truth into your and your children’s hearts and mind this year.
Getty Kids Hymnal: SPOTIFY LINK
Hide ‘Em In Your Heart (by Steve Green): SPOTIFY LINK
Bible Memory Verse Resources (Perimeter Church): LINK
Baby Believer Primers (Catechesis Books): LINK