I love being outside, but I’m definitely not the athletic type. Gardening is my outdoor “sport” – a nice quiet form of exercise and relaxation that has helped provide food for us over the years while getting me outside to enjoy the sunshine.
My very first garden was a whopper. I tried growing just about everything I could find in the Burpee’s seed catalog. I learned as I went, with Rodale’s Organic Gardening book in one hand, and a hoe in the other. One thing I learned, thankfully before I planted all those seeds, was that our hard clay soil needed help if it was going to grow very much.
We brought in a whole dump truck load of sand to spread over the 60 x 60 foot space, ran a big tractor back and forth to work the sand and composted manure into the soil, and hammered in stakes and strings to mark rows all over that beautiful soil, following my very carefully drawn-out-on-graph-paper plan.
Boy, did that garden grow! After more than forty years of gardening, I think I can still say that first garden was probably my best and most productive garden ever. I had the whole summer off, since I was a school teacher, and I spent hours out there, watching seedlings magically push up out of the ground, hoeing out the weeds, and eventually hauling loads of produce into the house and around the neighborhood to give away.
I worked hard. But if the soil hadn’t been prepared so that it was rich and loose, it wouldn’t have mattered how much weeding and hoeing and bug-squishing I did. The garden would simply not have thrived in that hard clay soil.
If you’re a gardener and a parent, you’ve probably noticed the similarities between gardening and raising children;
- Plants and children both need lots of loving attention. Tons of time and energy need to be invested in both.
- There’s weeds to take care of in the garden and in our children’s (and our) lives.
- Vegetables and flowers need the right kind of nutrients to help them grow. Our children do, too, both physically and spiritually.
- Pests and diseases threaten the health of the garden. Outside influences, harmful friendships, and plain old self-centered sin threaten our children’s spiritual health.
- Even though we work hard to plant and take care of a garden, God is ultimately the one who brings life out of all those little seeds that go into the ground. The same is true for parenting. We have a job to do and it involves a lot of work. But when all is said and done, God is the one who renews our children’s hearts and brings fruit from our labor.
- And like my first garden with its heavy clay soil, if our children’s hearts are not soft, if they aren’t prepared to receive God’s Word and our instruction, we can teach and correct and discipline, but true, life-changing wisdom won’t take root.
The Bible has a lot to say about raising wise and godly children. I’d like to invite you to join me as we begin our new Busy Mamas Bible study on Sunday, July 1. In Child-Training Boot Camp 2, we’re going to consider our children’s hearts, not just their actions.
- We’re going to dig into the book of Proverbs and see what sort of soil produces fruit in our children’s lives.
- We’re going to look at the Word to see how we can raise wise children who thrive spiritually, who know how to live in a way that pleases God, and who actually want to please Him.
- We’ll consider some of the weeds and pests that threaten our children’s spiritual growth, and look at the Bible’s remedies.
- While we consider all these aspects of parenting, we’ll also learn how to more effectively study the book of Proverbs.
- In addition, a lesson for the kids will follow every one of your lessons, if you’d like to share what you’re learning with your children.
No need to worry if you haven’t done Child-Training Boot Camp 1. You can still jump right into Boot Camp 2. The study will be posting daily lessons at www.mamasrefill.com. If you’re not a member of Mama’s Refill yet, this is a great time to join! From now through July 8, 2018, you can save $10 on an annual membership that gives you access to almost twenty different studies (including Boot Camp 1) – studies that will teach you how to study the Bible while you study in bite-sized, busy-mama-appropriate-length lessons.
I hope you’ll join me! We need the wisdom of God’s Word to raise our children for Him!