Hello Dear Reader, I’m Marilyn Howshall, author of Empowered—Healing the Heartbeat of Your Family.
This message is for all parents who are serious about the discipling of their children and the health of their family relationships. You may have already raised your children and don’t feel a need for this message. I encourage you as grandparents or grandparents-to-be to consider keeping the door open for God’s continued healing in your family relationships through you. As a grandmother myself, I never feel too old to grow and change in the Lord, so I can strengthen my legacy to my children and grands.
I know that as a concerned parent you have hopes and dreams to lead your children toward God so they will whole-heartedly follow after Him and His ways. I’m sure you know that you’ll need to be able to influence them—have their hearts turned toward you while showing them how to pursue their own relationship with the Lord. Unfortunately, many parents come to learn that it isn’t as automatic as they thought. In other words, plugging children into church activities doesn’t necessarily translate into children who grow up to live for Christ.
In this message, I hope to provide you with understanding for how to cooperate with God’s work in your family. I’d like to lead you to consider the quality of your family’s discipling efforts through a different route—the route of the heart—by checking the pulse of your family’s heartbeat. You can do this by examining your fruit as evidenced right now in your relationships.
To aid in this exercise, I provided a special tool to help you examine more specifically the relational, moral culture of your home. “Family Heartbeat Evaluation” comes with 20 questions, each with a 5-point grading scale to consider two areas of your family’s life: the condition of your parenting influence AND the state of your family relationships. The best part is that I attached this tool at the end of this eBook for your convenience.
If you’ve been experiencing a loss of influence, even if only in a measure, or even if things seem well in your family, I hope you can embrace the idea that it’s wise to take preventative measures in your relationships now so you can avoid relational distress later. If you are experiencing a measure of distress over a child, even if only mildly so, I encourage you to take heart as this message is for you too.
Each of the seven parts of this message present a single truth that will position you at the gate of your family’s heartbeat. There is a strong possibility that the gate is now CLOSED to you by seven locks. These locks will prevent any healing your family relationships currently need. I hope you will choose to unlock them.
In this message, I want to help you to open the locks. When you choose to open all seven locks by accepting the invitations presented to you at the end of each section, the gate to the healing of your family’s heartbeat will swing open. Once open, you’ll be provided a way to prevent loss of influence from happening in your family as your children transition into the teenage years and adulthood. Going through the open gate will take you on a path with the Lord to address any damaging effects that your loss of influence has had on your family relationships.
Let’s take a look at the first truth about desire for your children to adopt your values and faith.
The First Truth
Desiring Your Children to Adopt Your Values & Faith
As I’ve thought about the hopes and dreams I had for my young family years ago, I remember the days when Jim and I discovered that we were not able to influence our son in the way we thought we should be able to. My husband had been reading our son’s school text books and he didn’t agree with what he saw—mis-representation of history and eliminating everything important to why we should learn our history. He saw that the text books were teaching something different than what we wanted him to learn. That’s when we began our homeschooling journey. We thought that if we could teach him things more in line with our values, that he would naturally embrace them. After all, we were his parents, we loved him, and he seemed to love us too.
A Rude Awakening to My Family’s Heartbeat
We experienced a rude awakening when we saw our son was rejecting our ideas and efforts to educate him, and it did seem like that at first. However, in time we realized that it wasn’t so much our ideas he rejected, but that he didn’t actually respect our authority to teach him. We were stunned at the resistance we experienced as we realized we didn’t actually have the ability to influence our son and transfer our values to him like we thought we did.
That was the beginning of our desperate search to grow in our ability to influence our children so that we could effectively transfer our values and faith to them. We were so blessed to learn that the Lord had a way for us and led us through as we connected with Him to understand how moral values and faith are actually transferred from parents to children.
Throughout this message, we’ll be following the story of Anna, written by Barbie Poling. Anna is a fictional character, a homeschooling mom who represents the hearts and experiences of the many, many moms I’ve spoken with over the years. These moms all have similar hopes and dreams for their children, but they are having various difficulties knowing just how to bring them to pass. Sprinkled between our narrative and commentary portions, I also include quotes from real moms about their concerns for their children. You may identify with them…
Barbie joins me in prayer for your family’s growth in Christ’s love. Won’t you allow us to help you open the 7 Locks to the gate of your family’s heartbeat?
This eBook is our completely free gift to you to focus you toward considering the health of your family’s heartbeat. And the attached Family Heartbeat Evaluation tool will help you get clarity for the strengthening of your family’s heartbeat.