Parenting On Point Day 10: A Heart Transplant

Parenting On Point Day 10: A Heart Transplant

Have you ever known someone who received a heart transplant? It’s truly amazing to consider that a skilled surgeon can open someone’s chest cavity, take out an old heart that is broken, put in a new heart that functions, and the person is able to get a new lease on life.

In a spiritual sense, God is a surgeon, and becoming a Christian is like getting a heart transplant. Not until God takes out our sinful, selfish, and sick heart to replace it with a new living, loving, learning heart can we see any change in our life. Who we are needs to change before what we do can change.

Consider from the Old Testament these Scriptures that speak about the spiritual heart transplant surgery that God does for His people:

  • The Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.47
  • I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.48
    Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant. . . . I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.49
  • I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me.50
  • And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.51
  • I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.52

For you to be a great parent, you need a new heart. You know that you have a new heart when you hate sin, love Jesus, and find that your life is changing because you have been changed by God at the deepest levels.

For your children to be all that God intends for them, they too need a new heart. Sometimes we forget that our children may not yet be Christians. We are surprised or disappointed when the way they act is what the Bible calls “according to the flesh.” What this means practically is that since children who are not yet Christian only have their fallen, sinful, selfish, rebellious heart, we need to realize that before there can be any new life, it needs to flow from a new heart. The first priority of a parents must be to evangelize their own child – help them understand that they are a sinner who needs forgiveness and a new heart from Jesus.

God the Holy Spirit longs to give us a new heart, and He is adept at working on the heart. He is the soul surgeon. On one occasion, one of our young children was acting in a way that was very loud, rebellious, and destructive. The child was escalating in such a way that harm was certain, either personal or to one of the other young children. Nothing we said or did made any positive impact. The child was, in essence, bordering on being out of control. We held the child calmly, and lovingly and kindly prayed as the child thrashed about. We confessed the child’s sins, asked God to grant a change of heart, and interceded in the presence of the Lord. Amazingly it worked! The child soon began weeping uncontrollably and apologized – from the heart.  We witnessed God’s power to change hearts!

Do you have a new heart that loves God and lives for God? Does your child have a new heart that loves God and lives for God? If either answer is no, will you today invite God the Holy Spirit to do a heart transplant?

47 Deut. 30:6.
48 Jer. 24:7.

49 Jer. 31:31–33.
50 Jer. 32:39–40.

51 Ezek. 11:19–20.
52 Ezek. 36:26–27.

Mark Driscoll
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