Everytime I see a well groomed garden I think of God's creation of seeds, herbs, and trees on the third day.
Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth"; and it was so.
Everything is to produce after its kind. I also see that the garden I am admiring took alot of work to beautify it. It takes seed, water, fertilizer, weeding, and eventually, harvesting. If you have ever worked a garden you know the commitment is season long. Take just a week without tending the garden, and your efforts up to that point may be in vain. Weeds, birds, and other critters may have taken the garden over. Or a few days of hot sun and no moisture, your crop may be burned up.
Words, actions, and attitudes are seeds. These seeds produce after their kind as well. The seed of every word we speak is watered and fertilized by our actions and the harvest follows as we diligently weed the garden by repetitive words of like manner. The harvest is bountiful, we sowed, and now we reap.
This is very noticable in raising children. It can be a wonderful experience for the entire family when we plant encouragement and confidence from God's Word in our children. When the child grows to believe that they can rise to the challenge in every endeavor, as we weed out negativity and self-doubt. We water the seeds that have developed into a thriving plant with teaching the children the importance of giving themselves in service of others. And then as the plant matures, we shoo away the birds and critters, or bad company, with understanding and wisdom about the intent of evil influence.
This does not in any way mean the the child will be perfect in their lifetime, and never err. But consider the alternative, the way most kids are raised in this society. Plant the seeds of anger and self-service by harping out profanities and threats over them from early adolescence. Cultivate it with pointing out every flaw and defect. Then put a band-aid on the deep gash by buying them the most exspensive clothes, video games, etc. Tell the little gifts from God how they are worthless, and act ugly like their mom or dad, and you'll reap a whirlwind harvest of a bitter, and angry child, looking to anyone but you for comfort.
"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap." Gal.6;7 (NKJV)
That comfort may bring an unwanted pregnancy, or an addiction that ends their young life. The TV has been your babysitter and every moral the plant has is amoral. They learned to believe anything. Unfortunately, insult is added to injury as we water the plant with words like, I knew you would end up this way! We don't even see our part. We led them right to crows and critters with actions and attitudes, but expected them to turn out okay.
How can we change this plant and cause it to thrive again? First of all, see your part, look at how the child finds you repulsive, if that's the case. Repent. That means, turn and go the other direction. Ask God to help you find the right words, words that heal. Then set down with them and apologize for all of the damage you have done. Don't allow pride to stop the possibility of watering the garden. Don't retort to their angry response that you may receive. If you feel the need to raise your voice in anger, take five, go to another room, pray again, then finish the conversation.
Now live the amends to the child by remaining calm when they rock you with bad attitudes and actions. Keep in mind they developed under your teachings, or how you tended the garden of their heart. There will be days that you will want to uncork on them, don't. If they need to be disciplined, do so with love, and stick to your measures. You may change, they may not right away. In time you will see your seed grow into that thriving garden.
This is an example of the seeds we plant with things we say. There is so much I would like to say, examples other than in child rearing, especially those areas I personally experienced both good and bad regarding sowing and reaping...perhaps later.
Thanks for reading, god bless and keep you all. Keith