“Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants…” Matthew 13:32
When my kids were little, it was hard to feel any sense of accomplishment; growing our children is a process that takes time for the results to be seen. I couldn’t wait for them to get older so I could revel in the fruits of my labor.
Now that they’re teens and a tween, instead of seeing the fruition of all my hard work, I’m seeing eye-rolling and push-back as they try to separate from me and become their own people. Some days it can be so extreme I don’t want to be a mother anymore.
That’s why, on Monday, while reading about the mustard seed in Matthew 13, I decided I’m going to be a farmer instead.
When I wear my mom hat, I try to transplant my own ideas, thoughts and values into my kids. It’s a forceful and invasive process as I dig into them, push my ways, and try to make them embrace them. Time after time, like a mismatched donor recipient, my kids reject my efforts, and my motivation dies right along with them.
But If I put on a farmer’s hat, the process is entirely different. My job becomes about nurturing the field of their soul, gently encouraging them, turning the soil of their hearts over to really see who God created them to be. That naturally results in my loving and admiring them more and more. There’s no better fertilizer than that!
Once their soil is rejuvenated and fed, my only job, really, is to plant the mustard seed of God’s love. Once that germinates, there’s no limit to how big it can grow. Firmly rooted in Him, there’s also no limit to who my kids can become.
Question for Reflection:
- When I am trying to teach my kids about God, do I force them to embrace my perspective? Or do I nurture them so the seed of His love grows in them according to God’s power?
Discussions! I loved finding out where my kids faith was. I’d just throw out a question and then ask their reasoning in the answers. I wasn’t always happy with the answers but it helped me see from their perspective AND gave me very specific things to pray for 🙂
What a great idea, Elaine! I especially like the part about knowing what to pray for. I’m going to use this wonderful piece of advise! Thanks so much!
Absolutely beautiful, inspiring and enlightening, not only for you,dear Claire, but for all Moms who read this reflection. I LOVED this and your choosing to be a farmer, lovingly describing the work you do to cultivate and enrich the soil so that healthy plants may grow and thrive.I can’t think of a more charming parable you’ve created here, and how God surely smiles on you for
the wisdom and love for your children that you express through this creative parable, so close to Christ’s way of teaching us with His parables of seeds .
Thanks so much Jackie! Let’s hope and pray I wear my farmer’s hat well!!
Great job Claire!
Thanks so much Kerry! I appreciate how you’re always so supportive and encouraging. It means the world!!
I’ve had many conversations with my teenager about God, and some of them leave me annoyed and frustrated that I didn’t seem to get my point across.
I loved the idea about knowing what to pray about, thank you.
I’m going to do that, and I know my prayers are always answered.
I’m so glad you read and commented Pam! Thank you! I love that Elaine’s advice is helping so many of us. That’s the beauty of people commenting – we continue to learn from each other’s perspectives. I hope you continue to read and comment so we can learn more from you.:)
Claire, once again, you have made a remarkable discovery. I wish I had donned the Farmer Hat when my sons were young. I tried to push them towards God and they dug in their heals and pushed against me. Luckily, with time and age, I have learned to “show” not “tell”. Now I am witnessing the beautiful faith they had as children is slowly returning, and I am so glad. They are such good men, two of them serve in our country’s military, and they never fail to ask for my prayers. I do, however, also pray for the gift of wisdom, because, as you know, motherhood is a daily challenge, no matter how old your child is!
I am so happy to hear this Lynn Marie! Your sons sound like remarkable men. I’m sure that’s as a direct result of your “showing” them the way. Please know that I’ll be keeping them in my prayers. Please thank them for their service!