“Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed….Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.” Matthew 13:3, 5-6 (NIV)
“The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.” Matthew 13:20-21 (NIV)
This fall we are looking at The Parable of the Sower and the different ‘crop failures’ that teach us spiritual lessons for discipling our kids. These ‘crop failures’ help us discern what to avoid and what to prioritize when teaching our kids to follow Jesus.
In August we looked at the seed that fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. We learned that the key to preventing the enemy from stealing God’s Word from our children’s hearts is to equip them to fully understand His Word.
This month we are looking at the seed that fell on the rocky places (see Scripture above) and how it sprang up quickly because it had little soil. To see last week’s blog about providing good soil for our kids, click here. Then we talked about ways to prevent the scorching heat (trials of life) from disheartening our children from following the Lord. Matthew 13 says that the plants were scorched from the heat because they had no root.
Today we are going to look closer at how we can keep our kids rooted in God’s Word and a relationship with Him.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)
The first thing we can do to help our kids grow deep roots is to root our kids in faith!
When I think of the picture of roots keeping a plant grounded from a storm, I think of strong faith. No matter what trials come our kids’ way, their faith is keeping them planted firmly in the ground. So how do we root our kids in faith?
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17 (ESV)
1. Teach your kids to pray Scripture and meditate on it. As they do this, it will take root in their lives through faith. Provide them with Scripture cards, write them on their mirror, or encourage them to write out verses themselves to pray and memorize. We like to memorize a whole chapter together and practice in the car on the way to school. Some great ones to consider are Psalm 23, Psalm 139, Romans 8, and James 1.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
2. Remind your kids of the promises they can hold onto when trials come. Promises like, “God’s Spirit is with you” “The Lord will bring good out of this,” and “Jesus will make you mature and complete.” They may not see these promises fully in the moment, but they can have faith that God will bring good out of their trials.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
3. Remind your kids that faith is about trusting God, not trying to figure things out from your own understanding. God’s ways are higher than ours, so sometimes we just have to trust that He can see the big picture and we don’t have to understand why bad things happen.
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” Ephesians 3:17b-18 (NIV)
The second thing our kids need to grow deep roots is an understanding of God’s great love for them and to love Jesus with all their hearts.
We know that the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. So how do we help our children know and receive God’s love?
1. Read Bible verses with your children about God’s great love and remind them how much He loves them when you tuck them in at night. Here is a list of great books for little ones on God’s love. Teach your kids to hear from God and how much He loves them through waiting on Him to speak and through His Holy Spirit and Word. The Lord wants to remind them of His love, and they need to be reminded of this daily.
2. Encourage your kids to love God with ALL their heart, putting Him first before worldly things like toys, extra curricular activities, and entertainment. For a way to teach your young kids to love God with all their heart, click here.
3. Encourage your kids to have a personal relationship with God by spending time with Him in His Word and prayer. Head knowledge is good, but it means nothing without love. The more they feel close to God, hearing Him speak to their hearts in their personal times with Him, the deeper their roots will grow. For personal devotionals, click the Resource Tab on growingkidsforthekingdom.com and search by age.
When our children have a strong faith in God and His Word and a fervent love for the Lord, their roots will grow deep. The scorching sun the enemy uses to try and make them whither will not prevail. Our children will be able to withstand the trials of life knowing the Lord loves them and will see them through anything.