In keeping with the parenting post from Monday (click HERE if you'd like to read it), I want to share a very important boundary that God set with His people. Why is it a part of parenting? Because if you teach this and model this in your home, your children will be prepared for their future in relationship with Father God.
Sowing and Reaping: the Bible says in Galatians 6:7-9, "Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." God is setting a boundary saying that there are both good and bad consequences based on your choices. If you choose to do things that disobey His Will and His Ways, there will be consequences.
There are consequences based on our choices.
God warned Israel that, if they forsook Him and pursued idols, the law of sowing and reaping would be suspended and their crops would fail (Leviticus 26:16).
This is so vital in teaching your children to make good decisions. In age appropriate ways, (too many choices too soon will make them "wise in their own eyes": Proverbs 26:12) parents get to tell their children, "If you choose to do this, this will happen. But if you choose to do this, this will happen." Then, allow them to chose and bear the consequences, good or bad. This will go a long way as they grow up and are faced with more and more decisions.
Certainly, there are both negative and positive sides to sowing and reaping, but for positive reaping, there are two elements that your children must learn: obedience and waiting.
Obedience: To sow good seed that reaps a good results, you have to obey the "how's and when's" of sowing seed. Based on how well you obey in the sowing will determine what your reaping will look like. Deuteronomy 6:3 says, "be careful to obey so that it may go well with you". When my children were being punished for a bad decision, I often said, "Things aren't going well for you, are they?" You see, if your children want life to go well for them, they have to learn to obey God's Word. It first starts with them learning to obey their parents, and then, their parents teaching them what the Word says about other things to which they are to obey.
We had a motto in our home: "Obedience is immediate or it is not obedience." Why? Because I wanted my children to grow up knowing that when they hear the Father's voice telling them to do something, they wouldn't rationalize, argue, or wait til there is a "count to three", and miss the opportunity the Lord had given them. Remember: we parent toward how we want our kids to be as adults, and we want them to walk with God.
Delayed Gratification: In a society where we can get whatever we want, whenever we want it, we are doing our children a disservice if we don't teach them how to wait well. Lamentations 3:25 says, "The Lord is good to those who wait for Him;"
So whether that is to have to wait and eat all of your supper and then get dessert, or whether you have to wait until Christmas or your Birthday to get the gift you want, or even having to wait and save your own money until you get to purchase something you really want, all of this is part of learning how to wait.
If we never learn to wait as a child, will we wait well for the return of Christ as an adult?
Think about the farmer who plants the seed and then must wait to see what he reaps. "Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waitingfor the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near." James 5:7-8
For some, you may have never been taught the principle of sowing and reaping and today, you get to learn it and begin to implement it in your own life and then in your parenting. Others of us may have just needed a good reminder and still others may be in the throes of parenting and needed this nugget of truth. Wherever you find yourself, may we all be reminded of this wonderful principle, that when followed I. the ways God planned, will reap bountiful and beautiful harvests that only He can get the glory for.