Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Seemingly Small and Trivial Seeds

Lately I have been posting about “self” but today I’m going to take a little side trip to “parenting” (to which I will return at a later time) because God has been teaching me such a valuable lesson lately.

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6. ESV.)

I appreciate the worldly saying, “You reap what you sow.” There is a ten year gap between the two groups of children being trained up in my home. One group (group #1) is experiencing their teenage years while the other group (group #2) is just starting God’s lessons in this vapor of a life…which is to say they are very young. As I watch the development of the teen group I am seeing the result of seeds that were planted while they were especially little, only being seedlings themselves. The teen group was not trained up in a cross centered home but instead God was mentioned and discussed but was not the main thing. Seemingly small and trivial seeds of magic and helping oneself to treats without permission were shrugged off and discounted. But wouldn’t you know these are some of the seeds that took root the firmest and are causing quite the ruckus now!

Group #1 did not have bible study each week. They did not attend church each Sunday, and the only “biblical” stories they were told came from the occasional Vacation Bible School, a short season of reading God’s word before bed once or twice a month, and reading John Bunyan’s book The Pilgrim’s Progress. Their media (Internet websites, television shows, movies, etc.) was 100% worldly. And, they were not taught to respect their parents but rather we acted as a buddy more than an authority.

Group #2 has bible study each Wednesday afternoon. They attend church each Sunday complete with Sunday school. They are read stories from God’s word at bedtime 50%-75% of the time. Their media is more biblical than secular and they are taught that God is the main thing, created all things, and is the center of everything. Furthermore, they are instructed God has the ultimate authority and their parents have authority over them according to God’s laws and commandments.

"A sower went out to sow. 4And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6but(E) when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root,(F) they withered away. 7Other seeds fell among(G) thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some(H) a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9(I) He who has ears,[a] let him hear." (Matthew 13:3-9. ESV.)

"Hear then the parable of the sower: 19When anyone hears the word of(Y) the kingdom and(Z) does not understand it,(AA) the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately(AB) receives it with joy, 21yet he has no root in himself, but(AC) endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately(AD) he falls away.[b] 22As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but(AE) the cares of(AF) the world and(AG) the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and(AH) understands it. He indeed(AI) bears fruit and yields, in one case(AJ) a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty." (Matthew 13:18-23. ESV.)

Group #1 is currently struggling with ungodliness, discontentment, unthankfulness, pride, selfishness, lack of self control, anger, envy, jealousy, and harsh words. The seemingly innocent sneaking of treats without permission has grown into stealing and the apparently childlike interest in magic has developed into an obsession with the Wiccan and Druid organizations.

True, there are many outside influences that tempt children whether it is peers (at school or outside of school), relatives, teammates, the Internet, movies, television shows, magazines, teachers, coaches, etc. however, in my opinion, it is the teaching in the home, the planting of the seeds, that really makes the difference. I feel I am a better parent now that I have died to myself and put my faith and trust in God and His precious Son. I am excited to see how God works in the lives of group #2. I try to fix things with group #1 and sew the seeds of God's sovereignty, wrath, grace, and love however I feel I can no longer train them but rather encourage them according to God’s word. Above all, I pray for all the children in my household and beseech God for their salvation.

"The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds[c] among the wheat and went away. 26So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27And the servants[d] of the master of the house came and said to him, 'Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?' 28He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' So the servants said to him, 'Then do you want us to go and gather them?' 29But he said,(AL) 'No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers,(AM) Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'" (Matthew 13:24-30. ESV.)

© 2008 B.T.P.

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