One of our desires for our children is that they will be teachable. Not impressionable – not changing to reflect whoever is around them, or influenced by whatever comes along, but teachable by God. We want them to have hearts that are soft toward the things of the Lord. We want them to have an appropriate respect for authority so that they can learn and become wise. We do not want them to become guys who think they know everything already and thus are actually fools. A teachable attitude, however, is not something that we can have for them! So I have been on the lookout for opportunities to teach and model how to be teachable.
The other day, the boys and I were singing “Jesus Paid it All” during our morning Bible time. We usually sing the same hymn every day until everyone knows the words (at the least the first verse or two). Over the years, we have learned the words to many hymns and gained a lot of new vocabulary (and doctrine!) along the way.
The second verse of “Jesus Paid It All” says, “Lord, now indeed I find, Thy power and Thine alone, can change the leper’s spots and melt the heart of stone.”
I asked the boys why they thought the hymn was talking about melting a heart of stone, and they didn’t know. So we looked at Ezekiel 11:19-20 which describes the New Covenant. God said that He would remove the people’s hearts of stone and give them hearts of flesh which would be able to walk in His ways.
And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep my ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God.
As we were talking about these things, I had an idea of a way to experience this concept in a hands-on way.
We got out some rocks and some play dough. Then we discussed the differences between the two. I asked the boys, “What can we make out of the rocks? Can we shape one into a cat? Can we roll them into snakes?” Of course not! Rocks cannot be molded into another shape. The only way you can make a rock into something like that is with a hammer and a chisel!
Then we looked at the play dough. Can play dough be formed into a cat? Can we roll out a snake? Yes, we can easily do that!
I explained to the boys that before we know Jesus as our Savior, our hearts are hard like rocks. But God can change us and make our hearts soft like play dough! In fact, He loves to do that! He will give us soft hearts so that we become more like Him if we repent from our sins and turn to Him. A teachable heart can be formed into what God wants it to be.
The book of Proverbs is full of verses that demonstrate the importance of a follower of God having a teachable heart.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
“My son, do not forget my teaching, But let your heart keep my commandments; For length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.”
This simple demonstration was a good reminder to myself to put aside my pride and be willing to be molded into whatever God wants me to be! I’m thankful for His grace in making us more like Him!