Growing Gardens and Growing Children
by Barbara Rainey
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. GALATIANS 6:9
I love the way a garden looks when it's clean and neat, when all the soil is evened out and the weeds are pulled up. But I know too well that the hard work of a Saturday morning will be repeated again and again, all season long. It never takes more than a week or two of neglect before weeds are sprouting all over the place.
Parenting is a lot like that. Just when you think you've finally mastered one area, you wake up the next day and a whole new issue is facing you. It's so easy to forget that parenting is a process. A long, long process.
You go to bed at night sometimes relishing those little victories, thinking all is secure and right with the world. But it's not very long before something else crops up. Infant issues morph into young-toddler issues. Toddler issues become school-age issues—the unmade bed, the homework, not coming to the table when we call. Then it's on to adolescent issues—the emotional turbulence, the anger, the words they hear and pick up at school (and at church!).
Remember that building character is the most important goal in parenting. Imprinting a child's heart with the image of God takes time and repeated effort, often reworking the same ground repeatedly to keep bad behaviors from becoming habits.
So I encourage you today not to give up. Don't lose heart. The Bible promises great reward to those who faithfully persevere through the long days, the long battles that often don't even stop for bedtime. I assure you, all that weeding will pay off.
Name the biggest issues you're dealing with in the lives of your children. Or name one issue that is just around the corner.
Thank Him for the wisdom, energy and ability He provides to get through each day, knowing that His supply is sufficient and His promises are sure. Pray for one another in this long process of child rearing.