Is Your Child’s Heart Clean?
by Joey Link
“Jesus called the crowd to him and said, ‘Listen to me, everyone,
and understand this. Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them.
Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.’” Mark 7:14
I remember going to the beach with our kids when we visited our families in Southern California. Every summer they played in sandboxes and had fun swimming in pools, but there is nothing like going to the beach and finding both in one place. We have great memories (and pictures) of our kids playing and digging in the sand after going into the ocean. Our kids worked hard to build sandcastles. One of our daughters would bury herself in the sand because she liked the warmth of it. Oh how dirty she got. There was not a part of her untouched by the dirty sand.
It reminds me of Jesus’ teaching in Mark 7:14 where He says, “NOTHING on the outside of man that goes in makes him unclean.” Our kids can roll around in the sand all they want. Carla can look pretty muddy after a day working in the yard. I look like a scarecrow after working in my woodshop on a project, sanding and staining the wood. Jesus said none of this makes you unclean.
Jesus’ disciples (like many Christians today) didn’t get what He was saying. Jesus told them what goes in the mouth from the outside goes into the stomach and gets discarded. Jesus went on to say that what comes out of the heart of man is what makes him unclean and needs to be taken care of.
We know you are committed to making sure your kids get their teeth brushed and their bodies bathed. Have you ever thought about how much time and effort you give to clean up your child’s heart in comparison to how much time and attention you give to cleaning his outward appearance?
Stop your kids from the normal flow of life to wash out their hearts – scrubbing out bad actions, motives, and attitudes. What a blessing it is when they become teachable to you and God once again. Be more concerned about what goes into your children’s heart than what goes into their mouths.
“What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.
All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” Mark 7:20-23(NIV)