Weeds. I hate them. And in one particular patch, they’re everywhere. Disrespect. Self-centeredness. Laziness. While I occasionally glimpse kindness, selflessness, and maturity, the few healthy plants in the plot are fighting for their lives.
What to do? Those who raised me attacked my weeds with large doses of correction. An ugly weed poked its head up? Wham! Out came the weed killers of punishment and withheld acceptance. This effectively killed the weeds of outright disobedience. I was a model kid.
But it cultivated hidden ones. Bitterness. Disrespect. Pride. Judgment. The outside garden looked great, but nasty things happened under ground.
And they eventually came out.
How has God dealt with my weeds?
He loved me.
And as I accepted His love, the weeds lost their grip on my garden, choked out by my growing love for Him. Pride gave way to humility. A need to perform gave way to rest. Judgment gave way to mercy and grace.
When you see kindness and love in me today, it’s all Jesus, because those plants were not there before.
So, back to my own child’s heart. The one whom I love beyond his ability to comprehend. The one knee deep in weeds. God continually counsels me to reach out with love and kindness. To hold this one accountable, but to show grace and mercy too.
And it’s hard, because this one has weeds with thorns. And it hurts.
Here are some verses I’ve found helpful in raising children.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29 NIV)
“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1 NIV)
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:6 NIV)
And especially this one.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 NIV)
If you’re battling weeds, hang in there. Cultivate with kindness, and fertilize with faith. Trust God to grow the good stuff that will choke out the weeds.
How did your parents deal with your weeds?
Was this effective?
Would something else have worked better?
What things did they cultivate?
How had God dealt with you?
How do you discipline your children?
The weed killers of punishment and withheld acceptance effectively killed the weeds of outright disobedience. But it cultivated hidden ones. Click to tweet.
The outside garden looked great, but nasty things happened under ground. And they eventually came out. Click to tweet.
How has God dealt with my weeds? He loved me. Click to tweet.
If you’re battling weeds, cultivate with kindness, and fertilize with faith. Trust God to grow the good stuff that will choke out the weeds. Click to tweet.