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Black Church News in Virginia

Marriner’s Moment: Shaping the Hearts and Minds of Our Youth – Part 1

No written word nor spoken plea
Can teach young hearts what they should be;
Nor all the books upon the shelves,
But what the teachers are themselves.
~ Unknown

This poem is just another version of what many of us grew up hearing: children do what they SEE, not what we SAY. Parents are the first teachers from which children learn. So, be honest: Do you want your children to imitate you?

As parents, we spend a lot of time concerned about our children’s academic success, physical development and social interactions, but too often, we fail to give equal weight to providing spiritual guidance in the home. One of the merits of guiding children in their spiritual development is to reach their hearts. If we are able to reach them at the heart level, we can prepare them for life from the inside out. While ultimately, it is Christ who transforms or shapes a child’s heart – or any heart – parents can and should help lay that foundation.

As we send our youth and young adults off to school, the most that we can pray and hope for is that we have modeled a godly life for them and given them a solid spiritual foundation sufficient to help them navigate this journey we call life. We pray that that foundation has and will continue to shape the hearts and minds of our youth.

”Peace and power.

© Dr. Melvin O. Marriner,
Grove Church
September 2017

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