Everyone struggles with feelings. We don’t feel like getting off the couch, eating healthier or putting the kids in bed on time, so often we don’t. Worse, families dissolve every day because parents just don’t feel like they are in love anymore. We live in an emotional age; feelings have crept past daily activities and habits and have begun to control much of our lives.
Feelings seem to win the day. If we feel like it, we do it. If we don’t, we drop it. I wonder if we even confuse our emotional condition with our spiritual connection. If we don’t feel God in the moment, we conclude He’s not there. That’s dangerous.
Don’t get me wrong, we need to understand our emotions and respond to them, but when I let my emotions rule me, I almost always end up in the ditch. What would happen if you and I acted on every feeling we had? Exactly.
So how do you change this? One of the best ways to check your emotions is to think through them. Your mind is a wonderful check against a runaway heart. That’s why so often when we don’t know what to do, we’ll seek out a friend’s wisdom—to correct or adjust what we’re feeling.
So it’s no surprise when Jesus gave the great commandment, saying we need to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, all of our soul, and all of our mind. The development of a solid intellect is actually an active part of our faith formation.
If it’s helpful for adults to learn this, imagine how vital it is for our children to develop this, too. Chances are like most parents, you’re passionate about your kids doing well in school. But to what extent are we as parents developing our children’s minds spiritually? Not just in terms of memorizing and learning raw information . . . but in encouraging them to think?
My guess is most of us as parents really want to see our kids’ hearts fully alive in Christ. But what about their minds?
What would it take to see a child’s mind come fully alive?