Commitments provide purpose, meaning, and direction in life. Ralph, age fourteen, was determined to save money for a remote control car. Mom told us, "He set his heart on getting that car and spent many hours earning the money." Jill was committed to her friends but not to her schoolwork, requiring some major shifts in her heart in order to get her commitments into proper balance.

Sometimes parents are encouraged by the commitments they see in their children and other times red flags go up warning moms and dads to take action. When parents use the good commitments that children have and try to change commitments that are unproductive, they are doing heart work in their kids' lives.

Parents can do a lot to influence their children's commitments. Be on the lookout for positive things that you want to encourage in your child's heart. Many a great man or woman has traced their early interests back to a parent's encouragement. Look for ways to generate healthy commitments in children to get their hearts moving in the right direction.

Moses told the people, "Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day…They are your life." (Deuteronomy 32:46-47) Samuel told the people, "Serve the Lord with all your heart." (1 Samuel 12:24) Proverbs 3:5 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart." Each of these verses is a call to commitment.