“Growing Godly Character at Home” was the message that I presented to a group of homeschool moms back in 2000 at the CHEFA conference. This is our desire isn’t it? To create home environments where children can grow in godliness and truth! We want our homes to grow children of Godly Character yet, the specifics of that quest can seem allusive at times. When you think of “growing Godly character at home” what do you think of? For myself, I instantly see a picture of me working the soil in my garden, with my small hand rake, cultivating the soil that can too quickly become hard and dry. I see myself pulling weeds that somehow missed my attention the last time and now threaten the life of my prized plant. I have that sense of long, hot and hard days, sweat drips from my brow while a variety of weeds keep me on my toes. Choke weeds literally choke the life out of my plants, thistle weeds threaten the vibrant food source of my pasture, and grasses steal the water and life from my plants ever so silently. As I consider this visual image that I create, I am reminded how my parenting often endures the same obstacles. I have children, who at times express hard and dry hearts. I have painfully and carefully tilled the soil so that the water can reach down and offer the nutrients needed. I have dealt with the “choke weeds” of life that are obvious, large, and quickly intertwine themselves with my precious children! I have had to dig down and tear out “grasses” that silently steal the life from my family. If I am lazy and only take the “tops” off, leaving the roots below, they will sprout up again quickly with roots growing deeper and deeper. When I do finally find the time and strength to “pull” these weeds the right way chances are they are going to take the soil with them. It will be painful and I will find myself repenting of not dealing with the issue correctly from the start. Growing Godly character at home is work, it is not for the faint hearted, the slothful, or the ignorant. It is a purposeful practice that is done faithful each day by the grace of God! Just like a garden that we work for our family food it is up to God what grows. We must be faithful, we must be diligent, and we must be wise to know that we are not the ones that bring forth the fruit. That alone is a work that only God can do! How do you approach your ministry at home? Is it on purpose with prayer and action?
Consider a few of these practical weeds that may need to be pulled in your home from time to time:
- It’s important for children who grow up in Godly homes not to just learn the “right” answers. It is vital that we remain on guard for this type of eye service and diligently deal with the real issue of the heart. Just like weeds will remain in the garden if you don’t dig up the roots so will this sinful character remain in your child until it is completely dug up. These heart issues can be hard work at times. Children can learn to “cut the tops off” so that everything looks well but the truth is that the sin is just digging deeper rooted in their heart and will sprouting up again shortly. Keep focused and gently work through these issues with prayer and consistency.
- Choke weeds can actually appear to be a pretty vine. My children are often tempted to leave it thinking it is some sort of flowering vine there to grace the garden. However, with a little time and examination we can see that it’s presence in the garden is a hazard to all the work and effort we have been putting into it. This is much like things in our lives that can seem okay at first but with a closer evaluation and some time we quickly see that they will steal the life from our family. Evaluate your home and activities often. Faithfully remove anything that is keeping you from growing abundantly in His grace.
- Daily cultivation in the garden saves much time and work later on. Likewise, reading of the Word daily with your family will prevent many weeds from ever taking root at all. Don’t make excuses or put off the reading of the Word with your children. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just pick it up and read, learn and grow together! You will be thankful you did!
May we each be found faithful to serve as we cultivate homes where children can grow in Godliness!
With much love,
Mrs. Joseph Wood
P.S. I had to giggle over this Google image of the woman pulling the weed! Some days we can feel like her can’t we? The issues seem larger than life and harder than any strength we can muster. With a little time in the Word and songs of praise on our lips we can smile as we work! Be encouraged dear Sisters. God will complete the good work He has began in each of our homes!