How To Cultivate A Teachable Heart

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Episode Summary

If you want obedient kids, if you want a peaceful home, if you want kids who want to learn about God, then they better want to learn from you. Your kid’s hearts must be yielded to you. If you cultivate a teachable spirit while they are young they will let you guide them in their teenage years and beyond. But it’s also never too late to start chasing your teenagers hearts now too!

There are few parenting disciplines that match the importance of cultivating a teachable heart within your kids. All of us naturally gravitate towards an independent spirit due to the rather major mishap in the Garden of Eden. 

Cultivating a strong teachable heart in your children will have a profound impact on their education, relationships, respecting you, and their relationship with God.

It’s not easy and takes ongoing influence from you, and YOU CAN DO IT! The good news is when you do follow through on this, it does make other parts of parenting much easier, for example, it’s a crucial piece to effectively correcting for disobedience.

If you want obedient kids, if you want a peaceful home, if you want kids who want to learn about God, then they better want to learn from you.


The Challenge Is The Independent Spirit

  • This is one of the foundational topics as it determines whether your kids become prideful or humble with a teachable heart.
  • Are your kids humble and teachable or are they prideful know-it-alls?
  • It’s really important you are honest with where your kids are at. If you deal in reality you can make improvements, if you have the rose-tinted glasses on, you never will.
  • The independent spirit can resurface too, so you have to have your radar out for it.
  • This is important for all ages.
  • Most people naturally don’t have a teachable spirit. It’s human nature, since the fall of man, that all people struggle with an independent spirit. People don’t naturally want others to correct them, for example. But with diligence, you can cultivate a teachable heart by regularly training your children in humility through reminding them of the reality of their nature and the battle of their heart. We must point it out.
  • My encouragement to you is regardless of how old your kids are, never stop chasing your child’s heart. If your kids are older they can become receptive. Never give up!
  • There is an Independent Spirit that’s in all of us which is the opposite of a teachable spirit.
  • The teachable heart is about having a soft heart yielded to correction. Remember what God’s Word says about those who are yielded to correction? They become wise.
  • If you see a kid that’s really behaving and listening to their mom. Never say this to yourself: “Oh, my kids are different. They must have gotten the kids that obey” or “Oh, I’d have eight kids too, if mine obeyed like yours?” Those are lies that prevent you from being honest and doing what’s necessary to train your kids.
  • You gain nothing by saying, you are doing all you can possibly do if your kids aren’t improving. In fact, you become unteachable yourself.
  • The truth is, it takes a lot of work to raise Godly kids, who’s hearts want to be Godly.
  • Do you want your children to be wise when they are older? Do you want your kids to love knowledge? Do you want them to listen to correction? Then this must be something you are constantly working on.
  • Are you trying to teach them the right ways, or are you just commanding them?

You Are Their Teacher

  • It’s important to be clear in your language when you are asking your kids to do something. You can’t hold them accountable unless you clearly asked them to do something.
  • When you are teaching them, you aren’t commanding them. Teaching is when you are having a conversation about a specific topic. If their heart is closed off to you helping them, there’s a problem that you need to address immediately.
  • What do you do when your kids don’t listen? You must call it out. You can’t keep teaching if there’s a heart problem. Stop and deal with the heart issue before moving on.
  • “Do you want my help?” If you want my help then what I require of you is to have a teachable heart, make eye contact with me and listen. Sometimes even tell them to take notes. This is why “Mommy wants to help you but I’m not going to waste my time speaking to someone that is going to ignore me or not respect the time I’m spending with them.”
  • We all need to be respectful of people who are pouring into us.
  • Do you want God’s grace or God’s resistance in your life?
  • This is difficult. Parents should never stop working on this because there’s a heart condition that is prone to moving towards the independent spirit and we need to be constantly moving our kids towards a teachable spirit.
  • If you want it to be easier than that, then I have a quote for you: “Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.” Sometimes the truth hurts but is needed.
  • We must take steps to become better constantly. Parenting is a refining process.

We Must Be Teachable

  • The question is: Are you teachable? No really? Are you teachable?
  • Do you immediately put your defenses up and say, “I’m already doing that.”
  • You might be saying, “Oh yes, I’m teachable, it’s just that people don’t understand me.” Well, who’s fault is that, if people don’t understand you? Do you have real fellowship with people? Do you let people in? People will listen if they are your friends.
  • Perhaps there’s such a high expectation of perfection in the people you are willing to learn from? Be honest. If someone doesn’t get it perfect when they give you feedback, because they say one part that isn’t accurate, do you get hung up on it and miss the parts that are accurate?
  • If all your friend hears is you defending yourself, they will question whether to do that again with you. We need to be iron in one another’s lives. That’s Biblical friendship. We need to have it in our lives, model it for our kids, and be that for others too.

You can’t lead your kids where you haven’t been. You are the teacher.

  • If you are desiring for this, you must be what you want your kids to be.
  • A lot of times a lack of teachability in older kids and adults is because of insecurities. We care so much that people look at us in a certain way, that we defend it with all we have because our identity isn’t in Christ.
  • We must recognize our responsibility in teaching our children.
  • Hold blame shifting accountable, it’s a sign of spiritual immaturity.
  • It’s vital that you see yourself as a teacher, being a teacher is required as a parent.
  • A lot of parents fail to cultivate that kind of relationship with their kids and then their kids don’t come to them for guidance in their teenage years.
  • For most parents, when their kids need them most in the teenage years they won’t come to them because they failed to create that deeper relationship with them.
  • If you have older kids and have regrets, be a courageous parent and admit to them the mistakes you have made in not parenting them biblically. Explain to them that you see a need to have a teachable heart too and that you want to work on changing their relationship with you.

Vision is required if you are a parent, you have to shift your relationship for the long term.

  • The goal is that they want advice from you forever. Don’t over delegate to the youth pastor, pastors, coaches, teachers. You are the parent.
  • Dads, you are the pastor of your family, so let’s not take this lightly.
  • Make sure your kids learn from their mistakes. Do you have open dialogue talking about their mistakes because you created an environment where that’s welcomed?
  • Kids need to get good at learning from other people’s mistakes. That’s a sign that they have a teachable heart.
  • You have to cultivate a family culture that includes humility. Where the importance of having a teachable heart is a major focus. What does it mean to be a [your last name]?
  • We as parents cannot teach kids to have teachable hearts if we don’t have one.
  • One good test with your family is to evaluate if ageism exists in your family culture. Can someone younger say to their older sibling, “You _____” and call them out for something they did? Does the older sibling receive it?
  • That will only happen if they see you doing the same.
  • The ultimate goal is that you develop a teachable heart in your child so they hunger after God’s wisdom and are receptive to His corrections in their life. They allow the convictions of the Holy Spirit to change them throughout their life because they developed a teachable heart in your home.
  • If your kids have a teachable heart, it’s a fruit of having a strong identity in Christ. The sin isn’t who they are and they understand that. If there’s pride it could be a sign that their identity is founded in some of the wrong things.

Scriptures In This Episode

Proverbs 12:1  “Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid.”

Proverbs 12:8  “A man will be commended according to his wisdom, But he who is of a perverse heart will be despised.”

1 Peter 5:5  “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”

Psalm 1-6  “Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.”

Proverbs 29:1  “He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”

Matthew 18:6  “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

Luke 6:39-40  “And He spoke a parable to them: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.”

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Written By Angie Tolpin
Angie has been married to Isaac for 19 years and together they have eight children, whom she homeschools. She is the Founder of, a doula, the author of the best-selling book Redeeming Childbirth, and the creator of the first ever Christian Postpartum Course. Angie loves ministering to Women and has created a few online Bible Studies on Biblical Friendship and Motherhood.

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