Earlier this year, Madilyn and I planted a few vegetables. We were surprised by how quickly the seeds germinated and how fast the plants grew.
Seeing the wonder in Madilyn’s eyes reminded me of watching my grandparent’s garden as a child. The worst part was the waiting, while all I could see was the neat rows of dirt. Then, the hopeful stage came when the tiny green plant would sprout out of the ground, letting me know that all of our labor hadn’t been in vain.
The best part was still to come.
I remember being so excited when the strawberries, carrots, and turnips were finally big enough to harvest. We had painstakingly planted the right seeds, faithfully watered them, and finally enjoyed the fruit of our labor. There’s nothing quite as good as vegetables and fruit straight out of the garden!
I recently heard a message about God desiring growth out of us as Christians, and my mind immediately went to parenting.
There are certain attributes I want to see grow in my children. However, if I’m not planting those seeds now when they’re small, chances are those fruits may not grow in them as they get older. This made me stop and examine my parenting and ask myself, “What am I planting into my children?”
When my grandparents planted strawberry seeds, those seeds only produced strawberries. Same with turnips, carrots, and so on. Some of those seeds didn’t germinate, but they couldn’t control that. All they could do was plant.
It’s the same with parenting. My children will one day reach an age where they will be in control of the choices they make and of the character traits they will choose to cultivate in their own lives. I can’t control those decisions. All I can do is try my best to plant the right seeds now and pray those are the ones that grow.
So, what seeds am I planting as a parent?
Are my actions planting selfishness and dishonesty?
Are my words planting unthankfulness and bitterness?
Are my priorities planting seeds of worldliness and unfaithfulness?
I pray not!
I want to plant seeds of godliness, spirituality, faithfulness, kindness, love, and peace.
Galatians 5:22 tells us, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.”
I want my children to grow up to be true Christians and to produce the fruit of the Spirit. In order to plant those seeds, I must show them the fruit of those seeds. In my day-to-day life, and in my interactions with my children, I want them to see the fruit of the Spirit. I want to model the right fruit and plant the right seeds!