Thursday, May 9, 2013
A Lesson for My Oldest
Last night I heard my oldest daughter say something that shocked me. We were at church and it was the last night of AWANA.
My oldest is like any other little girl her age. She's sweet, charming and extremely goofy when she's with her friends. Sometimes her goofiness can go a little too far and she can become rude. When I see this behavior, I'm always quick to remind her to be respectful.
Last night I came around the corner and heard her being goofy, but it was at the point where it went too far. I heard her talking to a little girl we'll call Lexie. She said: "Your name is Lexie, right? I've never liked the name Lexie."
My eyes almost popped out of my head--and she saw me at that exact moment. I could see the terror on her face. Poor little Lexie looked crestfallen. I immediately made my daughter apologize and I told her we'd have a talk later.
When we were home, and all the other kiddos had been put in bed, I took my oldest to the couch and I said: "You know what we're going to talk about, don't you?"
She nodded and sat down facing me. Her big green eyes stared at me as I talked. I asked God to direct my thoughts and my words, because I want to teach my children lasting lessons that they will take to heart. I don't want my words to go in one ear and out the other.
God gave me a message for her and this is what I said: When she asked God into her heart, He planted a seed there--a seed of the Holy Spirit. When the seed grows, it gets stronger and stronger, until it's like a beautiful tree with branches and leaves. When it is fully matured, it begins to grow fruit. And inside the fruit, are more seeds.
The Bible tells us in Galatians 5:22-23 that the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. When we operate in these character qualities, we are giving that fruit away to other people, and the seed inside the fruit is being planted into their hearts and minds.
Mark 4:3-8 tells us that we sow the seed, but some seed falls on the path, where the birds come and eat it up, some falls on rocky soil, some on thorny soil, and some on good soil. It's not up to us to decide where to sow the seed, we just need to keep sending it out there.
I told my daughter that when she is kind to Lexie, she is planting God's seed in Lexie's heart, but when she is unkind, she is planting weeds in Lexie's heart, which will choke out the beautiful plants God desires to grow.
As I talked with my daughter, I could see in her eyes that she understood. We prayed together and I reminded her that she is a beautiful young lady. I also told her God allowed me to see this behavior, because He loves her too much to let it continue.
Today, as she was walking out the door to school I said: "Don't forget to bear some Fruit today!" She smiled and nodded. And when she came home from school, I asked her what Fruit she bore and she was quick to tell me how she had been patient and kind with a friend.
I love how God uses created things to show us His eternal characteristics. And I love that He planted His seed inside our hearts and He desires for us to bear His Fruit. It's a great honor and privilege.
What about you? Have you ever come across your child saying, or doing, something when they thought you couldn't see? What aspects of the Fruit are harder for you to bear? What aspects are easier?
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