The month of February focuses on matters of the heart. Valentine’s cards and gifts bleed pink and red in the stores. But did you know February is also American Heart Month? A few years ago, my son was diagnosed with Wolf-Parkinson-White syndrome. Unbeknown to us, he was born with an extra signaling pathway between the heart’s upper and lower chambers, causing rapid heartbeats. These extra heartbeats triggered anxiety, nausea, and lost work days.
The symptoms appeared a few months before my son visited a doctor. While at the scheduled doctor’s visit, she called in an appointment with a Vanderbilt cardiologist that same day. The cardiologist informed my son that the syndrome was an electrical problem and fixable. We waited another stressful three weeks before the procedure took place. With heart disease in my family, I prayed (and worried) during that time. Thankfully, an ablation resolved the problem.
As February focuses on the issues of the physical heart, let it remind us to be just as concerned with our child’s sin-sick heart. It’s a predicament with eternal consequences. It’s a condition no doctor on earth can fix. But what can we as parents do to guide our kids into the arms of our true Healer, Jesus?
Read the Bible with your child. His Word is “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12). The Scriptures will pierce and break a child’s heart more than our words ever will. Share your rescue story with age-appropriate language and discernment. Take them to Sunday school and church so they hear the Gospel story repeatedly. Discuss the Sunday school lesson or sermon at home. You never know when a story or conversation might convict and stick.
Pray scripture over your child. Here are a few verses related to the heart:
I pray my child would love the Lord her God with all her heart, with all her soul, and with all her strength. Deuteronomy 6:5
I pray that my child would confess with his mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in his heart that God raised Him from the dead so that he will be saved. Romans 10:9
Give my child a broken and humble heart, God. Psalm 51:17
Model what a relationship with Jesus looks like throughout your day. Whether you’re discouraged or elated, let your child hear you call out to God. He will witness you lean on Jesus in all circumstances.
Just as my son’s heart problems didn’t appear until his twenties, your child may not immediately respond to the Gospel message. It will take time, this planting of God’s word and sowing of prayer. But one day, in God’s timing, all the planting and sowing will bring about a heart transplant by the Great Physician. And what a glorious day it will be.
Sally Cressman writes about faith, family, and home on her website www.sallycressman.com. She’d love to connect on Instagram @sacressman.