God wants to win our hearts and teach us to follow him. Training our conscience to follow his Wisdom rather than our wisdom is a life long process of parenting. He imparts His virtue into our hearts. He trains the Terrain of our conscience with His truth.
I love taking my daughter Sierra on dates. At age 14, I love dating my daughter. She allows me to spend time with her, laugh together, chat about life, and model for her how a man should treat her when the time comes for her to date. After every movie after some fun banter on the plot, I try to bring out values and concepts embedded in the movie that may or may not be a good traffic map. For example, she and I went to a movie where the main characters were living together and sleeping together prior to marriage. I asked if she noticed that. She did. I asked her why people might live together before marriage. She noted that it might be a good chance to “get to know each other” and try out marriage before you got married. I said, “That’s exactly what the movie is teaching. Did you know God says the opposite. he says that marraige and commitment comes first, then sleeping together and living together. Why would that be?” At this point, I want to impart Truth (Doctrine) to her heart and teach her the “WHY.” I said, “The research shows that people who live together are 2 times more likely to get divorced that those who are married? Why might that be?” She thought for a moment, “Because you start your relationship out on “trying each other out” rather than “committed for life.” That’s exactly right I said! Now, I know there are some of you here who are living together. I do not intend to condemn you, don’t’ misunderstand. i am saying that God’s way works. His truth doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get divorced, but his way is the best. Saving intimacy for marriage, Building your relationship on a life long commitment will always be a safer foundation that the alternatives. Our cultures has tried to retrain the conscience of our culture, but the “doctrine” of our culture and the movies is wrong. And many of us have been hurt by following bad traffic maps laid out by our culture.I spoke with a mother recently and asked her how she worked on helping her kids internal navigation. She said, “relationship.” Our family talks alot, laughs alot, and I take time when a situation comes up to spell out consequences. What would have happened if you had decided to go to that party… And we step by step through it… I’ll say, “Aren’t you glad you chose purity or wisdom.” And as a mom there are times our kids don’t want to talk, but other times they start blabbing, it’s like a sales call. You need to be ready when the moment comes up. to listen. To engage. And to instruct.How do we train the Terrain? How do we lay out the traffic patterns for our kids? how to we impart them upon their hearts? There are Three Stages that come from a passage in the Old Testament.
How to Train the Terrain
Psalms 119: 11 Your word I have hidden in my heart That I might not sin against You.
This passage shows that the heart and conscience can build Traffic Truths, Search for the correct map, and Act on the GPS. The writer says that he has trained his conscience to “hide the word” in his heart. He is laying traffic truths into his heart. Then when a situation comes up where he might be tempted to sin… He checks the GPS. He acts on the map and traffic truths he has stored on his heart. So let’s look at these three stages of TRAFFIC TRUTHS: BUILD, SEARCH.
1. BUILD THE MAPS
Parents, then are responsible for presenting a moral code with the hope it will eventually govern their child’s life. In early training, a child’s heart is like a barren TERRAIN. Parents help a child build the interstates and roads, and rivers of the maps of their conscience by placing virtues onto it like honesty, patience, respect, honesty, fairness, honor, gentleness, and patience. With these traffic truths set, the conscience has a trained map to work with. We need to build maps for our kids and teach them to build their own maps. To search the Bible and have the habit of laying out maps on your heart and conscience.
I went to a funeral recently for a man who was baptized at our church named Ozzie. He was 76 and found a renewed connection to God at Horizon. He also wanted to be baptized as an adult to demonstrate his love for God. He passed away weeks after this baptism. When i spoke with his daughter and grandkids, they spoke about the “maps” this man left in their lives. they said, Ozzie was a man who could be counted on in every way.Ozzie was worried that his daughter’s boyfriend was working at a gas station that had been robbed recently, so Ozzie slept in his car in the parking lot to watch over his daughter’s boyfriend while he was at work. Ozzie secretly gave to people all the time. He had a heart for the single moms with children and often paid for their bill to help them out at Frisch’s and other places. When Maw-maw was in a wheelchair, he cared for her, drove grandkids to soccer games, picked up his great grandchild Brandon when he broke his arm at the roller rink, and never complained. His attitude was always, “Not a problem.” He volunteered at Anderson and Clermont Hospital logging over 6,000 hours at Anderson alone. Here is a man who was passing maps onto the internal navigator of the next generation by the way he lived, and the conversation he had with his children and grandchildren.
After we build, we need to help our kids be able to SEARCH…
2. SEARCH FOR CORRECT ROADS
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
The Bible teaches that Traffic truths play four functions. The can offer doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction. what does that mean? Think of these four words like this:
That’s parenting right there. We are teaching right and wrong beliefs and right and wrong behaviors. And god says that His WORD is given by Him to lay out the correct Traffic Truths we need. Our job as parents is to give detailed maps to our children. They need to hear principles and concepts worked out in nitty gritty difficult situations. Why? When they encounter a situation, they will SEARCH FOR THE CORRECT MAPS. The conscience is designed to go looking for the map for where they are. The Conscience acts as a GPS that encourages us in the right direction. It has a unique way of scanning the Horizon and trying to access the moral map it needs. Almost every daily environment we participate in brings us potentially new ethical situations. Whether we are shopping, sitting in class, hanging out the wash, driving or watching television. There are potential ethical situations requiring a response.