The parable Jesus tells of the weeds in Matthew 13 is a real picture of what I want for my home and how to combat the pests in our "garden". In the parable the farmer sowed good seeds but in the night the enemy sowed weeds among those good seeds. As the good seeds grew so did the weeds. As our children grow so do the Godless influences surrounding them. Unless we live in the absolute middle of nowhere our children are going to come into contact with weeds. We can't lock them away and forbid outside contact, but we CAN nurture them and train them and prepare them for the harvest that is coming. Christ owns all the land these little ones are grown on, and as His undergardeners we have been given the sacred task of tending each and every plant He has given us and seeking Him for whatever is needed to make them thrive.
I've been blessed with 6 stalks of grain, so far, with the possibility of a 7th on the horizon:) I'm finding each plant has different needs. Some plants have had their roots mingle with the roots of the weeds and require stakes to hold them up. Some of my plants grow slowly with weeds seeming to block out the Son which is so important for their growth. Taking the time to get to know our crop and what its specific requirements are helps us to become more successful as the undergardeners of our children's hearts. Our children (and grandchildren and great grandchildren) are the grain offering we are providing for the Lord at His altar. It can be so dicouraging and even terrifying to see those weeds growing up next to our precious stalks. There are so many what if's that plague us and sometimes distract us from managing the task at hand. If we can focus as parents and plow our own field instead of becoming overwhelmed with all the rocks that need to be cleared, or the weeds that spring up, or the hail storms that may come seeking to destroy our crop, we will be successful in the task we've been given even if we are struggling to the very moment of the harvest. If we can remember that Christ is the owner of all the property we farm then we can trust that He is prepared for any foul weather, He knows just when to harvest and He knows how to manage the weeds at that harvest. He never grows weary of us asking for help and instruction. He is never angry if we seek Him in the middle of the night...He'll bring the flashlight and direct us on how to repair a stalk when it has been damaged. He comforts us when we believe the crop is beyond salvaging and shows us how to carfully tend the soil to regenerate the plants. He has compassion on us when we are in despair and certain we made a mistake and should have taken up basket weaving instead of farming:) He is SO good to us.
May you find joy in tending the piece of earth the Lord has entrusted to you and may you find hope in Him.