Jump Start # 3030
2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.”
One of the most profound struggles that Christians face is what I call the “head and heart” issue. This is an internal battle. And, the stronger of the two, either the head or the heart, wins the battle. And, the way this is often manifested is in the lives of our young people.
For years mom and dad have kept them safe. They have sheltered and protected them from ad shows, bad language and bad people. They have only known the truth. They haven’t looked very far outside the box. Their friends were chosen through the influence of the parents.
But a time comes when that child leaves the shelter of the home. Off to college. Off to start a new job, a “big-boy” job as we often called them. And, for the first time, that child is around more people that are not like him. There are those who are openly against religion and have a chip on their shoulder about that. There are those who are excited and very commitment to Jesus, but they worship in ways far differently than your child has ever seen. And, as your child makes friends, new ideas, new theories, new questions begin to cross his mind and even cloud his thinking.
Maybe there is more than just the way I was brought up, he begins to think. Maybe the arguments of others are right. And, for the first time, your child faces a “head and heart” conflict. Their head knows the facts. The facts do not change. The facts are Biblically based. The heart however, wants to accept others and in some ways even become like others. The head and the heart have a conflict. Facts verse feelings. Truth verse emotions. Head verse heart.
Many families go through this and in many ways, each of us have dealt with this head and heart difference. When the heart wins, it is an emotionally based decision. When the head wins, it is fact and faith based decision. What complicates all of this is when you start adding people into the equation. It’s his girlfriend, or her roommate, or his boss, or her best friend. Suddenly, the heart issues rise to the surface. The truths of the Bible become cloudy and not as clear as they once were. The Bible hasn’t changed, it’s the eyes of one being led by their heart. Surely, this person that I am in love with, could not be wrong? They are doing so much more than what we are doing? They focus more upon love and grace and they are making a difference in the community. And, all of a sudden, the needle points to the heart more than the head.
Parents who do not understand this, simply stack more and more verses into the argument. They do not realize that within their child, there is a struggle going on between what they know is right and what they want to be right.
I’ve had this discussion with many parents. How do you deal with head and heart issues?
First, don’t shout. The volume of your voice is not what will change the outcome of this discussion. Do not threaten. Do not say you’ll run and tell the elders of the church. Pressure and force is not the way to deal with this.
Second, let your child know that the struggle between the head and the heart is very common. You have had some of those internal battles. Praise them for wanting to do what is right and for their love for others.
Thirdly, in a proper setting, open Bibles and just look together. Let the Bible be the answer. Don’t color the conversation with articles from our fellowship. For instance, after the resurrection of Jesus, who was considered saved? What determined that? Was their any exceptions? Get some paper and pens out and together talk and look in the Scriptures. What is the big deal about instrumental music? Does it matter how often the Lord’s Supper is taken? Fair questions. Fast balls down the middle. Find the answers and then understand that the head knows what is right.
Fourth, realize one conversation, one study will likely not be enough. Be open to read what she is being influenced by. Look at the material together.
Let your child know that you love him and always will love him. Our foundation is built upon Scriptures. You may have to do your own homework as a parent. You may have to do some digging to find the answers before you sit down. Don’t chop away at everything. Not all things are false. But reason as adults. If your child gets upset, call it a day for the study. Give it a little time. Come back and look at it again. Ask for proof. Where is the evidence?
Head and heart…it’s something that has to be understood and dealt with.