We all wonder about those seeds we are sowing in our children. They start out small, too. Saying prayers at bedtime. Going to church faithfully. Consistent discipline, especially when we’d rather overlook the offense than deal with it.
But it adds up. And it grows. And one day, the faithful farmer will see the fruit of her labors. By patient and persistent toil, tending with love and kindness, we will reap a harvest of righteousness in our children’s lives.
See how the farmer waits for the land to produce its rich crop. See how patient he is for the fall and spring rains. You too must be patient (James 5:7-8).
In the meantime, let me show you something else:
Where did all these weeds come from? Well, just like the desirable plants in my garden, these came from seeds, too. The seeds came from weeds that I failed to pull out.
We parents spend a lot of time tending to the good seed we have planted in our children’s hearts. But sometimes we need to tend to the weeds that have been neglected in our own hearts. Those weeds will also flower and produce seeds–seeds that will transfer to our children’s hearts and produce a prolific, potentially uncontrollable harvest of sinful thoughts, attitudes and behaviors.
What weeds might you be neglecting that are reproducing in your children? I know for my part, sarcasm is weed that I’ve not only neglected, but tended alongside the good seed in my heart. When I see it reproduced in the lives of my children, I am quick to chastise. But then, I cringe, knowing that this weed could have been pulled from my life so that it had no opportunity to reproduce in my children’s gardens.
I had a pastor who preached on the “4 Laws of Sowing and Reaping.” Let me share them with you:
- You reap what you sow. Just as you can’t plant carrots and expect peas, you can’t plant sin and expect righteousness.
- You do not reap what you do not sow. Whatever results you hope to gain must be planted intentionally.
- You always reap more than you sow. One kernel of corn produces not only an entire ear, but an entire stalk full of ears of corn!
- In due time, you will always reap a harvest. You will harvest what you’ve planted, both bad, and good! So be diligent, hopeful, and expectant!
Simple lessons from the garden, but with profound consequences. For we cannot sow sin into our children’s lives by our example and expect, with a heavy load of discipline, to reap righteousness. Instead, we must faithfully tend to the gardens of our own hearts, pulling the weeds, cultivating the good seed of the Truth. Then we will only sow seeds of righteousness in the hearts of our children–seeds they will not have to rip out later, when the roots have grown deep, seeds that will produce a bountiful harvest for themselves and for their children after them.
Hey, what’s growing in YOUR garden this summer? Send a picture and I will post it here. And tell us what lessons you’ve learned in your garden!