“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
As a young mom and new believer there were many times I questioned, “How could I sow good seeds into the lives of my daughters that would amount to an abundant harvest of righteousness?” I had surrendered my life to Christ before our first child arrived in 1988; however, I hadn’t grown up having a personal relationship with God.
The seeds sown in my childhood had been abandonment, rejection, hypocrisy and fear. As a new mom, I knew I needed to tend to what I call the weeds (self-centeredness, unforgiveness, independence, anger and bitterness) in my life. Billy Graham said, “ Women should first cultivate their souls that in turn they may cultivate the souls of their children.” So this is where I began after having our second daughter prematurely. Hormonally I was a wreck as we packed up to drive 1,500 miles with a three-week preemie and a 2 year old. We left behind spiritual mentors and support. I was new in my faith and struggled to grasp the gospel message, thus the “seeds” (lies/wrong thinking) that had defined me before my conversion quickly choked out life and darkness engulfed me.
I believe there are times when one needs to seek professional help to navigate a crisis and this was my time. I was new to Austin and had no community, family or friends close by so I sought the wisdom of Christian counselors, as well as medical help. It was a toilsome process where weeds were pulled and the bad seeds of my past (wrong thinking) were eradicated because of God’s word, which is truth that will set you free (John 8:32). I knew that raising a bountiful harvest would take a lot of diligent hard work but it was an investment I was willing to make for our children and the generations to come.
For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. -1 Peter 1:18
God’s truth began to sow across my formerly barren landscape giving me purpose, perspective and hope. Soon spiritual fruit began to grow. Why? John 15:4-5 says "Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
Whether we like it or not, our life (attitudes, actions, and words) directly influences and impacts our children’s lives. Children learn through watching and imitating. Like sponges they absorb our lifestyle as parents. Thus the reality for us is that we are always sowing something and what we reap today is a result of what we have sown in the past.
So be intentional in your parenting!
Sow intentionally by deciding ahead of time what you desire to reap in your relationships. Begin with the end in mind, work backwards and decide what you desire your children to become.
Once I dealt with the overgrowth of the weeds in my life I gathered necessary tools to invest in my children as their God given parent. I looked to God and the Bible to discover the values I should pass on.
We had to sow the right kind of seeds for our family in order to get the desired crop. We had to be faithful to water and fertilize as needed, as well as sow generously. (2 Corinthians 9:6) We hoped the seeds we purposed to scatter into our children’s lives would yield a solid spiritual foundation. We prayed for them to reap a Godly character, strong family ties, hospitality, a sense of life purpose, a desire to make God’s name known, living as servant leaders, and loving others well, through kindness, forgiveness, patience, humility, generosity and honesty.
Our eldest daughters both have matured into beautiful women who love the Lord and seek to make His name known. Courtney is living in San Diego working on staff for a ministry group that reaches out to students on the UCSD campus. Caryn is in Detroit with a team loving on her neighbors and those she meets. I continue to sow seeds into my life, the life of my eleven year old and other relationships.
Everyone is a “seed bearer” ... either for good or bad! What do you plant in yourself and what are you planting in your children? What seeds are you using and what is the condition of the soil?
Are there any unwanted weeds in your life?
Editor's Note: This article is part of our Sowing and Reaping Series, where we're learning together about how to invest our lives so that we might reap the Harvest of Motherhood God desires for us. We invite you to join our community and not miss a single post by subscribing to Mom Heart via email or RSS Feed.