I'm often in awe when I see beautifully manicured gardens. While the outcome is amazing to view, the fact is that lots of time, care, patience, and thought goes into the process - and that the outcome doesn't just "magically" happen! Gardeners have to prepare the the soil, plant the crops, weed out harmful elements, continuously tend to the seedlings to ensure that they have proper food, water, and light. And, importantly, they ensure their flowers' proper growth and development by tending to each plant according to its own unique needs. In short, this requires a lot of attention to detail and commitment.
Sound familiar? Figuratively speaking - our children are like plants. They need us in the same way that plants need gardeners - to prepare them, ground them, protect them, provide them with the resources they need, and help them take root in life! And like plants, they are all individuals and need our attention according to their own unique needs. Simply stated, the seeds we plant today will ultimately blossom into beautiful flowers. That is unless we fail to fertilize and water what we sow. It's up to us to plant seeds of wisdom in them and nurture them to maturity. This means that we must dig in and get our hands dirty!
So that leads to a question - are you watering your garden every day, or are you sitting back and expecting your garden to grow on its own?
Parents, we must remember to consciously "speak life" to our kids every day and show them through our words and our actions that we love and believe in them. We must encourage and support their dreams - even as funny or outlandish as they are. (Umm... because who knows... one day, it really might be possible to be a racecar driver on the Moon. :-) We must accept them as individuals and nurture their special gifts and talents to the fullest. We need to ensure that they grow up with confidence in themselves and aim high in life. We must teach them to image the unimaginable, and to have faith. We lead by example so they'll live a positive and purposeful life - despite external influences and circumstances.
Most importantly, our kids need to hear, read, feel, and believe that God has a special destiny just for them - which is why they must keep God first in every decision they make. This is how we sow into their lives.
Here are some thoughts about how to "water your gardens" everyday:
- Start early (introduce them to God while they are young).
- Water often (offer words of advice and guidance).
- Tend to them often (shower them with love).
- Trim the leaves (disciple them with love, when necessary).
- Give them them lots of your care (always give them your undivided attention).
- Water them (continue to provide them with divine guidance right through maturity).
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