Behavior Change Begins in the Heart

September 21, 2012 | Tags: ,

I saw, and took it to heart; I looked, and received instruction.

Proverbs 24:32

My heart has been (necessarily? unnecessarily?) heavy over something lately–my 5-year-old son’s complacency at cleaning up after himself. I went into my kids’ playroom the other day to find a trashcan spilled over and trash lying all over the floor. For a moment, I thought maybe our German shepherd-mix got into the trash. But at second glance, I saw four green Nerf balls from my son’s Nerf ball launcher near the spillage. I had a feeling this mess was not caused by our wandering pup, but by a little guy who launched his Nerf balls at a trash can then left it there for someone else to clean up.

I started thinking about what it takes for us to do the right thing. As for my son, since we’ve discussed his need to pick up after himself more times than I can count, I told him this was the last straw. After his (reluctantly) full confession of the trashcan incident, I said that if he fails to pick up after himself again, he is not able to play Wii until I see a change in behavior.

But was this the best way to handle it?

I have found a lot of help from the Bible in understanding human behavior.¬† I’ve learned it stems from an attitude of the heart. If there is a true heart-change, then behavior will change as well. Focusing on just changing the behavior is futile without a heart-change.

Maybe this mom could use a little heart-change herself.

My son is at the age where he can have open conversations with me. Perhaps a better approach is to sit down and understand why he is having a hard time cleaning up after himself. Spending time with my son discussing the issue in a loving and understanding way will not only help him grow, but it will bring us closer together. After all, doesn’t God want this kind of interaction with us for our heart-changes too?

By Courtney Silberman

Has God helped you with a heart-change lately? Share it with me on our Encouraging Women for Christ Facebook page today.

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