Today, I heard a song that I haven’t heard in a long time called “Don’t Let Your Heart Be Hardened” from 1987, by a group called Petra from their album “This Means War.” This song came out around the time when I was trying to break free from my codependent relationship with my mother. I didn’t realize until today how much this song had helped to make me who I am today. So many times over the years the song would play in the back of my mind whenever I face a situation where I have a choice of becoming hardened or to have compassion, and steered me toward compassion. It helped me to break free from the codependency without losing compassion for my mom and her emotional immaturity, when I could have easily become hardened and severed the relationship altogether as I was tempted to do back then.
This song also helped me in my parenting to be childlike and see things from my children’s point of view. Time and time again, it steered me toward compassion instead of harshness toward the children. I would not have the relationship that I have today with my kids if I had let my heart be hardened by the hardship of life or those moments when the children had tested my patience or did not meet my expectations in some ways (I learned to let expectations go too, but that’s a topic for another post). The song encouraged me to be humble and admit to the kids when I had been wrong, to apologize when I needed to, to be transparent and let them see me broken before God, stripped of religious rituals and piety. I believe it is through this example of brokenness that my kids now have the genuine relationship with God that they do.
As I listen to the song again today, I pray once more that my heart never be hardened and always stay childlike, always broken before God, always long to be filled with His love for everyone.
DON’T LET YOUR HEART BE HARDENED
Words and music by Bob Hartman
Based on Psalm 95:7-8, Hebrews 3:13
Don’t let your heart be hardened – don’t let your love grow cold
May it always stay so childlike – may it never grow too old
Don’t let your heart be hardened – may you always know the cure
Keep it broken before Jesus, keep it thankful, meek, and pure
May it always feel compassion – may it beat as one with God’s
May it never be contrary – may it never be at odds
May it always be forgiving – may it never know conceit
May it always be encouraged – may it never know defeat
May your heart be always open – never satisfied with right
May your heat be filled with courage and strengthened with all might
Let His love rain down upon you
Breaking up your fallow ground
Let it lossen all the binding
Till only tenderness is found