Commitments provide purpose, meaning, and direction in life. Ralph, age fourteen, was determined to save money for a remote-controlled car. Mom told us, "He set his heart on getting that car and spent many hours earning the money." Martha was committed to her friends but not to her schoolwork, requiring some major shifts in her heart in order to get her commitments into proper balance.
When parents use the good commitments that children have and try to change commitments that are unproductive, they are doing heart work in their kids' lives. Parents can do a lot to influence their children's commitments. Be on the lookout for positive things that you want to encourage in your child's heart. Look for ways to generate healthy commitments in children to get their hearts moving in the right direction.
Moses told the people, "Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day…They are your life." (Deuteronomy 32:46-47) Samuel told the people, "Serve the Lord with all your heart." (1 Samuel 12:24) and Proverbs 3:5 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart." Each of these verses is a call to commitment.
This parenting corner is adapted from Dr. Scott Turansky & Joanne Miller of the National Center for Biblical Parenting