“Do not conform any longer to the patterns of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Romans 12:2a
While reading Dr.Leman’s recent book, I was struck again by the research that says “who a child is, is fairly done developing by the time they’re 6 years old.” He mentions it in his book, as an encouragement to parents to make sacrifices as necessary to be home with your children until they’re at least 6. To give them a foundation of relationship and security found in time with mommy and/or daddy.
But what about parents of 7 year olds? Or parents of teenagers? Or parents themselves who would like to change their natural inclinations?
Often I’ll be reading a parenting book of some sort, and think to myself “Man, I’m glad I’m reading this now. I can’t imagine not discovering this until my kids were 12+.”
Not that I’m advocating waiting. But I would like to remind us of a hope found all throughout scripture.
The hope of neurological plasticity. 🙂
Simply put, neurologists agree that our brains and how they are wired can be changed, no matter what age we are. (see “The Shallows” for more on this topic.) No matter how long we’ve developed habits/patterns of behavior. No matter how synapses are currently firing. It may not be a “switch” we can flip easily, but we can still slowly rebuild and retrain our minds toward a completely new way of being/thinking.
Paul writes the same thing to the church in Rome in the verse above. This isn’t a “mind made new” that we experience at the Resurrection someday. This is a “made newing” that happens here and now, as God literally desires and is involved in transforming who we are.
So as we train our children, and smile because we’re so glad they’re getting a great start….may we not think the door to having a mind made new is only open to them. Maybe you deal with anxiety, depression, lust, anger, jealousy, etc…whatever. God is about transforming us by the “made newing” of our minds. Scientists agree that our brains can be rewired, and rebuilt in new directions of synapse activity. And that’s without allowing for the power of the Holy Spirit!!
Bring your brain before God in prayer today, that He might renew/transform how you think. It may take time and practice, but we have a hope in Christ that we’re doing more than forming a “habit of holiness”. Who we are is literally being transformed. 🙂