Written By: Michelle Nehrig
Daily I plant.
Daily I labor.
Daily I water.
Daily I feed.
Daily I tend.
Daily I weed.
Daily I pray.
You might read these statements and think they are all related to gardening. Rather, when I say that daily I plant, I toil, I water, I feed, I tend, I weed, and I pray, I mean these are all actions I take with my children in raising them to be like Jesus.
However, gardening can be a great metaphor for raising children.
Everyday, I plant seeds of faithfulness, love, patience, self-control, gentleness, joy, goodness, peace, and kindness into my children. There are also those days when those fruits don’t come and, instead I plant anger, self-righteousness, impatience, and a whole host of other ungodly fruits.
Everyday, I can choose to plant seeds of encouragement or seeds of despair.
When I am at my wits end, and my children can tell it, and I choose to slow down and respond in love; I am planting love and self-control.
When I am tired from a long day of teaching other children the fruits of the spirit and my children behave as though they’ve lost their ever lovin’ minds, and I choose patience instead of losing my temper; I am planting gentleness and patience.
When I spend time reading God’s Word to them, I am feeding their faith. I am watering the seeds of faithfulness planted.
When we talk about choices their friends have made and the natural consequences that have come from those choices, I am weeding the worldly influences.
When one of my children is in unfamiliar territory and I take the time to pray with and for them, I am laboring alongside them. We walk out the situation together.
Just like in gardening, there is a time for planting and a time for reaping. Ecclesiastes 3:1-3 tells us, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted.”
This is our planting time in our children. This is our time to sow what we want to them to reap in the harvest.
This is the time of hard work.
This is the time of toiling over our children and their lives.
This is the time to water and feed THEIR faith instead of OUR fears. If I am living in a constant state of fear that something will happen to one of my children, I cannot fully feed their faith in a loving God.
There will come a time when what we have planted will be plucked up. This may come when our children are off on their own and they recall what has been sown into them.
Hopefully, through the course of things, we will see some of the seeds we’ve planted being harvested. This may come when a child faces a difficult decision to follow peer pressure or to stay true to what she has been taught. It may come when he chooses not to take the easy way and plagiarize an article, instead, doing the tough research to make his case. Throughout the long and weary days, we must remember, in parenting, when our children are small and still at home with us, this is our time to plant.
Michelle is a daughter of the King of Kings. She loves Jesus, her children, coffee, and books.
Michelle is grateful for the grace that is heaped upon her daily by her heavenly Daddy. She is still learning how to accept it for the gift that it is. You can find her thoughts, life-lessons, and sometimes comical adventures with her animals at: beauty in between. Her life verse is Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.” This is something she is still learning.