We all know what role our Heavenly Father plays in our lives, but have you ever thought about what role an earthly father should play in the lives of his children ?
We obviously understand the material provisions that are required, and the love and support that all children need, but how about their spiritual needs ? What does the bible say about this? And what are your roles and responsibilities as a father or parent?
A child is like a plant and plants need 3 things to grow :
Spiritual Gardening Necessity #1: Soil
Plants need a good foundation of soil to start their growth. For Christians, our “soil,” our foundation, is Christ. Christ nurtures us and supports us. He gives us a place to extend our roots in safety.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. – John 15:4 (KJV)
Just like a plant needs nutrient rich soil to thrive, Christ gives his children every possible nutrient we would ever need: Peace, Love, Encouragement & Wisdom… and His supplies are unlimited.
Spiritual Gardening Necessity #2: Sunlight
What else do plants need to grow? Sunlight.
“Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105(KJV)
The Bible is our sunlight. Plants grow towards the light. They long for the warmth and strength that only sunlight can give. As children of God, we should also lean towards the light, His Word, for guidance, and strength. It can give us warmth and comfort in times of struggle, and lead us on the clear path in times of doubt. The Bible is a source of many things we need in our Christian life.
Spiritual Gardening Necessity #3: Water
Last but not least, plants need water to sustain them. I like to think of that much-needed water as fellowship with fellow believers. God didn’t intend for us to grow alone, but to be there to encourage each other in Christ.
For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them. –Matthew 18:20-22 (NIV)
We who had sweet fellowship together, Walked in the house of God in the throng. – Psalm 55:14 (NASB)
Fellow believers are meant to come together, loving one another and supporting each other as we grow. Fellowship can be refreshing to a soul, just like water to a plant. It can help us perk up on a particularly draining day or quench a thirst. Water can be a vessel for the nutrients we need to grow.
Don’t Forget the Weeds
Now that we’ve talked about the essentials, don’t forget to warn your children about the “weeds” that can sprout up in our gardens, both in real life and in our spiritual life. Weeds come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. The worst weed in our spiritual gardens, Satan, can sometimes be easy to spot, while other weeds, like wayward friends or feelings of bitterness and anger, can be hard to keep away.
Weeds choke plants, creating an atmosphere where growth can be impossible. Weeds work in our lives much the same way. They distract us from Christ as we pour all our vital nutrients into them instead of our Christian growth. Weeds can crush smaller, weaker plants easily.
Encourage your children to strengthen themselves with good soil (Christ), sunlight from above (His Word), and refreshing water (fellowship with fellow believers), so they may find themselves with strong roots that dig into their foundation, and a close spiritual walk with our Father.