Bearing Fruit in Your Home{school}, Part 4: The Home

{Listen to Part 4 here}

Knowing that the Lord is our Gardener and the One who grows us and our children, we may wonder: what is our role?  Let us once again travel, this time to a farm, in order to gain some practical insights for our home{school}.  

A farmer cannot control or force his crops to grow but what he does is vitally important in order to prepare for, or cultivate, their growth.  It is his job to ensure the right growing conditions.  

Similarly, we cannot control or force our children to grow in their relationship with the Lord. We can, however, be active in cultivating the environment of our homes in order to provide the proper growing conditions.

There are various ways in which we can prepare our homes and schedules in order to help cultivate growth in our children.  The below list is a reminder of some practical ways in which we can make an eternal impact in our homes as we trust the Lord to accomplish the growth.

  1. Prayer
    The most important thing we can do is pray for our children.  While we know this, it is probably the one thing we would all agree that we don’t do enough!  May we pray for our children, that their hearts would be the “good soil” that Jesus spoke of, that they would receive the Word of God readily, and that the Word would be deeply planted within their hearts.  

Paul prayed for the Ephesians that Christ would be “more and more at home in your hearts, living within you as you trust in Him.  May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love” (Ephesians 3:17).  

There is so much to pray over our children!  Praying that their roots would go down deep into the soil of God’s love is a great place to start!

2.  Plant
Just as a farmer plants the seed of that which he desires to grow, we too must plant the seed of that which we want to see grow.  Whatever seed is planted is what will grow.  So plant the seeds, point to the Scriptures, regardless of what you “see” at the moment!  Something is being planted!  What is it?  What seeds are we sowing into our children’s hearts, minds, and lives?  Is it the Word of God?

Romans 10:17 states that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing the Word of God.”  One translation continues to state, “Before you trust, you have to listen.  But unless Christ’s Word is preached, there’s nothing to listen to.”

Are we giving them something worthwhile to listen to?  Faith comes by hearing the Word of God.  These are the seeds we must plant whether through a formal “family Bible time” or a casual, impromptu conversation.  “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).  Notice first the words shall be in our hearts. Then we shall teach them diligently. 

I know at times it may seem “easier” to go on with our day without spending time in the Word with our children.  Perhaps it was just in my house, but the moment I gathered my young children together to read from His Word, things seemed to go haywire!  There were times I would dread opening the Bible to read to my kids because I knew the toddler would begin screaming and the kids would start fighting!  There were times I questioned if it was really worth it.  But what was the lesson from the farm?  If we don’t plant the seed, that particular fruit won’t grow.  The farmer might prefer to take time off from planting – it would make his life easier (in that moment) for sure – but then he would not have a crop to harvest later.  In the difficult moments, remember the growth we hope to see in our children: what we want to grow is what we will be willing to sow, even when it is hard.

3.  Prune
Some seasons require certain things to be removed for the sake of greater growth and greater fruit.  This is especially hard when it’s something our children love.  As we remember the lessons from the watchtower (part 1) and the vineyard (part 2), we can move forward with certainty that the Lord is faithful to guide us according to His good purposes.

4.  Personal
We want to encourage our children to make their knowledge of God personal.  This is why the lesson from the olive grove (part 3) is so important: walking with the Lord is often something that we teach most powerfully through example!  

5.  Patience
Growth takes time!  Seeds don’t grow overnight.  Some plants take longer to grow than we would like!  Let us not grow weary in doing good, but rather let us be strengthened in the Lord!

6.  Provide
Provide opportunities for them to serve and use the gifts God has given them to make an impact in the Kingdom of God!  This will inevitably require some sort of death to our flesh, preferences, or plans because it likely won’t be convenient or something within our comfort zone!  Remember the farm.  It’s all part of cultivating an environment for growth!

7.  Power
Our children need to know of the life-transforming power of the Holy Spirit and that it is HE who works in them, causing them to grow and change.  It is so frustrating to our kids, just as it is to us, if they think they have to change by their own “will power.”

8.  Parent from a place of transparency
Let them see our walk with the Lord “up close and personal.”  This is one of the greatest gifts we can give to our children and it does not mean that we need to be perfect!  When one of my daughters was eight years old, she had written the following:

“My mom is the best.  She reads the Bible every morning because she wants us to grow in Christ.  My mom smells sweet like candy, which smells delectable.  She loudly yells at us.  She cooks delicious food for us because we are hungry.  She also unjoyfully drives us to certain places.  My mom is compassionate.  Sometimes she conceals her anger.  She is ecstatic when I get marvelous grades on math tests.  She is very hospitable to everyone.  She is capable to put me and my family to bed, which is hard.  My mom is the best mom ever.”

Upon reading this, I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry!  This girl of mine knows me and knows me well!  She wrote of both the positive and negative parts of my day, my victories, and my struggles!  Don’t we all have victories and struggles?  We are not perfect.  

Notice that one very important word, “perfection,” is not on this list!  

Our kids can see, they need to see, that we aren’t perfect! This allows the Gospel to be seen in our homes: the grace, the forgiveness, the new mercies, and the hope that He alone can offer.

This 2020-2021 school year is already set up to be unlike any other we or our children have experienced.  

Let’s remember the lessons from the watchtower, the vineyard, and the olive grove and allow these Biblical principles and perspectives shape our year, our home{school}, and us.  We can be certain that our Master Gardener will produce fruit in its season, fruit in this season, in both us and our children.

Listen to this message in its entirety by clicking here.


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