“Are you looking forward to summer?” a friend asked our middle daughter. She was 11 years old.
“No, my Dad makes me weed the garden,” she replied.
So, NOTHING about summer was appealing to this child. All she thought about was the fact that she would have to weed the garden.
Now I must put this in perspective. We did have a garden and we did expect each of our children to weed a part of it. But that was their chore BEFORE we went swimming at the community pool. It went like this:
Baseball and softball in the evenings
My friend Elaine and I often snapped beans while watching our children swim and then we would can the beans when it was cool in the evening – after the ball games.
You can see that we did not violate child labor laws by making our children weed for long hours each day. Yet we felt it was important to involve our children in the chores of everyday life.
Proverbs tells us that “He who does not work, neither shall he eat.” We took that seriously.
I was weeding a flower bed on Saturday and found that in a matter of a few days, small vines had grown copiously and were starting to choke the tops of all the flocks that were getting ready to bloom. I had weeded there a week or so ago and thought that things were under control.
Now the WEEDS were in control!
I thought about how like sin weeds are. They start out little and before you know it, they have taken over. Sin starts to wrap around our thoughts and attitudes and soon, we can’t see the kind, thoughtful actions for the critical, negative ones. It’s insidious!
Yet just as I pulled the weeds out of my flower bed, Jesus wants to free us from sin and it’s entanglements. He wants us to be free to “bloom” and bear fruit like we were meant to. The Lord wants us to produce good fruit that remains in the lives of our children and grandchildren.
Jesus uses the example of his children being like seeds that are planted in a garden.
Luke 8:13-15 (NIV)
14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
Just as in a physical garden, weeds or thorns can ruin a crop. Yet if the garden is weeded and the thorns don’t grow, the results are good crops!
May we be that good soil – free from sin so that God can produce all that is good and glorifying in our children and grandchildren.
By the way – I weeded along with our children. We get the best results when we set a good example!