Planting: The power of seeds
Read: Luke 8:1-15
“The seed is the word of God.”
Dwarfed in the palm of your hand, they seem so small and insignificant. Yet we all know that both the shooting sunflower and the towering oak tree start out as seeds.
Jesus was an expert storyteller. He connected with a rural population, who knew what it was to tend the fields, and masterfully communicated deep spiritual truths in simple language they understood. Not only that, but his stories have transcended time and cultures, and continue to speak directly into ours and our families’ lives almost two thousand years on.
In the parable of the sower, Jesus explains that the harvest is dependent on two huge factors. The first is the seed.
Luke explains that the seed is the “word of God” (v11). Now it might seem strange that Jesus refers to the word of God as a seed. The simple seed looks small and insignificant, but it is in fact powerful. It is laden with potential. The seed has the capacity for life and the power of transformation. In the same way, the word of God has the power to give us life.
The first challenge for us as parents that stems from this passage is: How are we, like the sower, sowing the truths of God into our children’s lives? How are we affirming their identity in God and how much they are loved by their heavenly Father?
What’s interesting is that the farmer seems to be pretty bad at sowing. The sower seems to be scattering seeds all over the place, with seeds landing on the path, among the rocks and amongst the weeds as well as in the good soil. An encouraging thought here, is that when we are sowing the word of God into our children’s lives, we don’t need to be meticulous and perfect in our seed sowing. Instead we can generously sow God-truths at any and every opportunity.
The second factor that impacts the harvest is the soil. Jesus describes three different bad soils and he goes on to explain to his disciples what the soils represent. The seed that falls on the path and is eaten by the birds, represents the spiritual truths that we sow that are not understood. The seeds that fall amongst the rocky ground are unable to take root and when times become hard, they fall away. The seeds sown amongst the thorns represent the faith that is choked by life’s worries and pleasures.
But then there’s the good soil. In Palestine today, a good soil would produce ten times what is sown, and a bumper crop would produce a thirty or forty times increase. But in the good soil that Jesus is talking about, the crop is one hundred times what was sown. This was an abundant harvest!
The second challenge for us as parents, is what kind of a soil can we help cultivate in the home so that the seeds of faith produce an extravagant harvest?
Research shows that where children feel safe, loved and accepted, there is a greater chance that their faith will grow. Just as the soil type affects the harvest, so the environment we create at home affects how faith is nurtured in the home.
So this week, as we reflect upon this ancient parable, let’s look for opportunities to scatter seeds, to sow the truths of God into the everyday. But let’s also remember the importance of what we’re already doing, in creating homes where our children know they are loved unconditionally.
As a family
Find some time this week to specifically tell your children that you love them, and show them too! Be specific and build them up telling them the parts of their character that you especially love.
Maybe have a meal together and ask everyone to say one thing they love about each member of the family. Then remind them that their father in Heaven loves them even more.
We can help each other
Share ideas and learn from each other so we can all succeed in inspiring faith in our homes.
"It was so good to talk to other mums who are struggling with the same things as me."
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