I have been meditating this week on two passages of scripture dealing with planting or sowing, and what they mean for us as parents.

Psalm 126:6  “Those who weep while they plant will sing for joy while they harvest.”

and…

Hos. 8:7  “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.”

The context of the second is the prophet Hosea addressing the wayward, rebellious nation of Israel, who had departed from God and fallen into idolatry, and were quickly approaching judgment.

The Pulpit Commentary has this to say about the Hosea passage:

This proverbial expression imports more than merely labor in vain; it denotes labor that has an injurious and destructive result. 

Friends, can you grasp the significance for our lives as believers, and as parents?

As believers in this world we are promised to have trouble.  We are besought with the ugliness of sin and the pull of worldliness on a daily basis as we seek to guide our children rightly.

What a holy calling has been given to such inept and unqualified vessels!  Our constant failures discourage us, and remind us of our own great need for our savior’s grace and mercy.  If he does not fill us first, how can we possibly give to our children?  If we do not return, again and again to the well, to drink of his life-giving waters, our parenting will become dry and brittle, filled more and more with the idols of sin and self, and eventually, destructive.  How terrible to think that our labor (because no matter what, it will still very much be labor), may actually be setting up our children for injury or destruction.

There is no in-between, no neutral-ground in our labor as parents.  We are either imparting LIFE or DEATH in what we sow.


Here is another scripture I have been repeatedly sobered by as a mother:


Exodus 34:5-9: “ Now the LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation . 

Here’s what one commentator had to say about this passage:
“God makes the point to Moses about how abundant his mercy is. He has enough mercy for all of Israel.  But he will judge the unrepentant sinner that passes on his non- moral disobedient lifestyle to his children. As he promises `keeping mercy for thousands, but not always pardoning the guilty’ (Exodus 34:7). Nahum 1:3 “The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, And will not at all acquit the wicked.” God is merciful but he is also just and fair and must punish sin.

His promise… is that if one passes their sin down from each generation, training their children in idolatry and disobedience, God will not let His mercy continue, He will stop having mercy and bring punishment.  Those who teach what is against Him and His commands will have their children’s children acquire the practice from their parents and  be punished for it. “ 1

Immediately after these warnings, God gives this charge, regarding the training of children, a verse which many parents hold dear: 

 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)



Parents, can you see how every decision, every word, every deed, matters?


How do we even respond to such responsibility?

Well, here’s what Moses did:

So Moses made haste and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped. Then he said, “If now I have found grace in Your sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray, go among us, even though we are a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Your inheritance.”


Do you feel as if you are sowing with tears?  That your kids are in a difficult stage, and fighting you at every turn?  Maybe, like me, your children are still quite young, and you are simply exhausted with the day-in and day-out demands of caring for their physical, spiritual, and emotional needs.
Do you feel you’ve lost yourself somewhere along the way?
Part of the reason we become to disgruntled and hurt about giving selflessly as mothers, and losing our “identity” is because our identity was not where it should have been in the first place.
I wonder~
Have I truly lost myself in the Lord Jesus?  For what else does it mean to follow after Christ but to die to self that we may live with and in Him?

This dying–this selfless giving up in order to sow life into our children (and spouses and family members and friends) is part of His grand plan.  For–

Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.  John 12:24 


Let’s make haste, like Moses, to bow our heads and worship before the One who supplies the grace we need–indeed, before the One who has descended to walk among us, His stiff-necked people, as we journey–who forgives our sins, and takes us as His own inheritance.

***  


Oh, Lord Jesus, help me today to live and parent intentionally so I am sowing seeds of righteousness and holiness into the lives of my children by the example I set in ALL that I say and do.  Remind me, this day, that sowing is meant to be a sacrifice~a giving up of self and worldliness, a painful release, in essence–a struggle…
and that though the promised reward is great, this holy calling is to be lived out with fear and trembling each and every day.

Give us grace, Lord Jesus, for this journey. We trust you for the harvest!



1 Excerpted from Let Us Reason website