What in our childish heart needs to be turned towards the Father? Biblical instruction toward children often focuses on becoming one who gives honour and learns obedience. 

An embittered child heart will choke on the idea of honoring those who brought you to life. Obedience is a dirty word that rings of oppression to the one who has a fear of submission.

Everywhere that sin rules, the family will suffer. Sin always erodes the parent-child connectedness. A heart that has been calloused by selfishness is ripe for divorce and estrangement. 

Elijah’s mission was that of restoring a child’s heart to the parent. When a parent offends and embitters a child, there is God’s anger to confront the parental figure. There is a millstone necklace with your name on it. Again, God’s desire is to help the parent restore love to the child rather than being destroyed by their own offensiveness. We who are parents need to be humble and repent to those we offend.

A child with a good heart is open to instruction from the parents. A good-hearted child of God’s Kingdom is willing to submit and obey both God and man. 

Where do we get the idea that submission and obedience are a violation of our rights? At the core, we are self-centered and resistant to love. This is what Elijah calls into question. What is the condition of your heart toward parental figures and toward your offspring? Do you know who your children are, both literal and figurative?

If we are to humble ourselves to see Jesus, we will let God soften our heart. We will become like the father who runs unashamedly to a returning prodigal. We will become like the son who longs for identity and belonging in the father’s house. The changed prodigal softens and surrenders to obedience. The humble child is open to the parents’ help.

Can you hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church?