Our Role In Cultivating The Soil Of Our Children’s Hearts

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In this episode we discuss some thoughts that surround the parable of the soils in Mark 4 & Luke 8. What role do we play in cultivating the soil of our children’s hearts in preparing them to receive salvation. Please enjoy!

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Hey we’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith with Marriage After God.

Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.

And today we’re gonna talk about our role in cultivating the soil of our children’s hearts. Welcome to the Marriage After God podcast where we believe that marriage was meant for more than just happily ever after.

I’m Jennifer also known as Unveiled Wife.

And I’m Aaron also known as Husband Revolution.

We have been married for over 13 years.

And so far we have five children under eight.

We have been doing marriage ministry online for over nine years through blogging, social media, and writing over 10 books.

With the desire to inspire couples to keep God at the center of their marriage, encouraging them to walk in faith every day.

We believe that Christian marriage should be an extraordinary one, full of life-

Love.

And power.

That can only be found by chasing after God-

Together.

Thank you for joining us in this journey as we chase boldly after God’s will for our life together.

This is Marriage After God. Hey everyone, thanks for joining us for this week’s episode of Marriage After God. And, we know a lot of you are also parents or parents to be. Or maybe you’re newlyweds and you’re just talking about having kids one day, which is awesome. But we wanted to share this episode, which is all about your children’s hearts and just the important role that we have as parents to participate, in guiding them and loving them and pointing them to God. So we just hope that you guys enjoy this episode.

Yeah, before we get into the episode, I just wanna invite you to take our parenting prayer challenge. It’s a 30-day actually 31-day challenge that we set up, where you’ll get an email every day with a topic to pray for your son or daughter or both. You can sign up for both if that’s where you’re at. And, it’s a reminder every day and it’s got a verse that goes with it and it’s pretty awesome. Lots of people have already taken this challenge. You can go to www.parentingprayerchallenge.com, www.parentingprayerchallenge.com all one word. And it’s completely free. We just wanna invite you to get in a habit of praying daily for your children.

Okay, so speaking of prayer, we also end every episode of Marriage After God with a prayer. And so, today’s prayer is just for you parents. So, stick with us till the end and you’ll be blessed by hearing that.

So we’re in, it’s like summer now. Is it officially summer? I don’t know

Well it’s hot.

Yeah it’s really hot. But we’ve been, planning some stuff. I feel like planning this year has been a little bit, like last year we had so many things, but we’re gonna have a little bit less this year but, we’re gonna focus on a few things that we really loved from last year, our little garden boxes.

I really like this time of year and the transition from like finishing up school and celebrating just all the hard work we did there to then being outside like, 100% of the day. And just kind of getting-

Which will happen.

Getting our hands dirty and-

We got a little pink, plastic pool that the kids just splash around and that they’ve loved.

Getting our hands dirty and planting, we planted marigolds, and just some other, fun things for the kids.

Think we have a couple tomatoes. Elliot’s strawberries came back like with a passion.

Yeah they’re so good.

They’ve been eating ’em like every day. We have, our feel like our peaches a couple years ago did way better. I feel like well maybe it was the first or second year there was a lot of peaches.

Yeah and this year, right in the beginning of the growth where the leaves are just budding.

Oh, yeah!

They got attacked by aphids and I wasn’t quick to get to them and so, because I had Edith. And so, it tookIt took a lot to like get them back to a healthy place.

But my apple tree is in a really great place. It’s got like 100 apples on it.

Yeah, Aaron’s got an Arkansas black apple.

It’s like a little tiny thing.

It’s a beautiful tree.

But it has the most, had the most flowers and man that thing, almost everything got pollinated. They’re like, there’s a lot of apples on it. And .

If you guys are interested in seeing some of our garden progress throughout the summer, check us out on Instagram. I share stuff, Aaron shares stuff. So @unveiledwife, @husbandrevolution and then @marriageafterGod. If you follow us, follow us on all three of them you’re bound to see, a little bit of everything I think.

One little cool project we just finished. It only took us a day, it was really cool, was a, raised flower bed for Olive.

Olive loves to cut flowers and make bouquets and, she just loves color. So we thought let’s make her her own, area where she knows she could just dig in there and cut flowers and, give ’em to friends or put them in her room. But we’re excited about that, too.

And she loves cutting flowers. She always wants to go pick ’em from other people’s yards. And we’re like, “Don’t do that. “Those are not our flowers.”

Those aren’t ours.

So we have flowers at our house that she can go pick.

She also likes to stick ’em in her hair and always have to blow them off first and make sure there’s no bugs.

So she just loves flowers. So that’s a really awesome thing that we’re gonna do, we gotta get some soil for it then we’re gonna plant a bunch of beautiful flowers. But speaking of soil, we intentionally were talking about our gardening ’cause we’re gonna be talking about soil and our children’s hearts.

Also I’m gonna interrupt you. I also saw an article about how especially ’cause of COVID and the quarantine and everything that everyone’s been going through that gardening is a really great way to decrease stress. And so get outside, this is our public service announcement, get outside and go garden, go plant something, especially with your kids and teach them about how miraculous and creative God is.

And if you don’t have a yard, you can easily get some plastic cups and put ’em in your window with some flowers or little tomato plants or I don’t know what you could put in it but pretty much anything.

Find fun in it.

Yeah, and if… Does mowing the lawn count as gardening? It’s like de-stressful.

It’s taking care of your stuff so.

Yeah, I like mowing my lawn that makes me, less stressed. So we’re gonna talk about soil. And, what made me think about this topic of our children’s hearts. I was in a discussion a while back with some friends and we were talking about the parable of the soils. Jesus tells this parable where a sower goes out to sow seed in some lands on the rocky place, some lands on the road, some lands on good soil, and then He talks about them producing fruit. And then some don’t produce fruit, some get choked out. But there’s this parable and then he asked me a question. He says, “How do you think each of those soils “got the way they were?” Which I thought was an interesting question ’cause, you can easily, I’ve always looked at the parable and just assumed those are all the different types of people. Which is true. But how did those people get that way?

Well I think this is just good as we go day to day, in our daily Bible reading time and, studying that we should be asking questions like this. This is how we dig a little deeper, right? So you read something in Scripture, and you can ask questions like, like this to try and get your mind to think about it a little bit more.

Because it adds another layer of like, “Oh, that’s interesting.”

Yeah.

Why is that heart rocky? Or why is that heart good soil? Like what makes the heart different? And so, I just thought it was an interesting discussion. So I don’t know if the way we’re gonna just explain this is like the right answer, but I feel like from what I know from Scripture, and what I’ve read and what I’ve seen. And just actually when you look at normal life, that there’s some merit to what we’re gonna talk about today. So we hope it encourages you, and we hope you take with a grain of salt and that you go do your own digging into the Word of God and you navigate these things with your spouse, and in prayer and with community. But we’re gonna talk about how we can, how we’re to participate in the cultivating. The preparing, the prepping.

We, as in parents?

Yeah, us as parents. Our children’s hearts to receive.

The gospel.

The gospel. The Word of God, the Seed. That is gonna be planted. And a part of that is us planting. But we’re prepping them in many different ways. And so the first thing I thought of was, when we were discussing this Jennifer, I brought up nature and nurture. It’s this idea in psychology of like, well, what is the most, what’s the most effectual thing in a child’s development? Is it their nature? Meaning just how their like DNA is formed? How their personal internal mechanisms work? Or is it nurture? How they’re raised? Their environment.

Their environment, yeah.

How they’re influenced by external things? That’s the idea.

Like their parents.

So parenting, that would be the nurture part. Nature would be just who they are.

Who they are.

What’s inside of them.

What they’re prone to.

But what I see from Scripture is, it’s both of those things in many different ways. So there’s many different things in life that, affect the the soil of someone’s heart. Like major life events, deaths of people close to us. Trauma, exciting things. There’s so many things that happen in life that who we are internally how God made us, how we were knit together in the womb, reacts to those things in different ways. So everyone’s gonna react, like the same thing can happen to five people and all five of those people are gonna be affected by that exact situation totally different.

So one thing that I love about this episode is that, as parents one of the questions, and as Christian parents one of the questions that we have is, will our kids become Christian? Will they receive-

It’s like the number one question. From the Lord right? And so I think other parents have, that question and, they probably think about it from time to time as their kids grow up. And so, the next question then is, well, what is our job? As parents who do believe in the Lord, what’s our role? What is that influence look like in our child’s life? I also wanna add that when this question pops up in my mind, I do pray for my children’s salvation as often as I can because I desire that for them. But I also know that it’s their own journey, in relationship with God. And, I also wanna just note that if you went through our 31 prayers for my son and daughter we actually included a specific prayer for-

You’re talking about our books, right?

Yes. “31 Prayers For My Son” and “31 Prayers For My Daughter”. They’re books that we wrote a while back for parents to just inspire their prayer life over their children. And we put a specific prayer in there for salvation because it is just like.

It’s like the number one thing.

Right, that we desire. But yeah, I just wanted to share that really quick. And if you guys haven’t had a chance to go look at those resources, you can check it out @shop.marriageaftergod.com. But we should have this prayer in our hearts petitioning to God for our children, and just keep it at the forefront of our minds as we raise them and love on them.

And, just before we get into there’s a quick note. Is it our job to save our children?

No, we can’t.

Yeah, right. Just like anyone in the world. We can’t change hearts. But, there is something very powerful that we can be. We’re the most powerful influencer in our children’s lives. We should be at least. So that’s where we, that’s what we’re gonna talk. We’re not gonna talk about how to make sure your children are saved. But we are gonna talk about the role that we play in making their hearts, preparing their hearts for salvation. Preparing the hearts to receive the Word. So, the first thing I wanna start with is Adam from the garden. First man.

We’re going way back.

Yeah, he’s the first man in Genesis 1:27 through 28. It says, “God created man in His own image. “In the image of God, He created a male and female. “He created them.” So men and women, both are created in God’s image. We, inherently, we carry different aspects of God’s nature in us. In the way we are, the way we think, the way we feel, the way we operate. God made us that way. And then it says in verse 20, “And God blessed them and God said to them, “‘Be fruitful and multiply “‘and fill the earth and subdue it.'” So the first command really that God gives to Adam and Eve. I mean, there’s that the command of you can eat of everything but don’t eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. But then He says, to them both, He says, “Be, fruitful and multiply.”

Not just multiply. Not just recreating but if-

Like God’s not command. Sorry.

No, I was just gonna say but be fruitful.

Right. So God’s, yeah. The can’s not, have lots of babies. The commands’-

Have fruitful ones.

Have fruitful children. So, whenever the Bible talks about fruit in the Bible, bad or good, that’s a representation of the thing coming out of us.

Hopefully it’s a fruit of the Spirit.

So how are we cultivating, our children to be fruitful? That’s this idea. So there’s all these gardening terms, cultivating-

I love it.

And fruitfulness, so.

Keep going.

We have children. So we have children and we want them, we want them to be fruitful. We want our children to raise their kids one day to have fruitful children. And then in Deuteronomy… So how do we do this? What’s one of the one ways God’s given us in Deuteronomy 11:19?

Oh that’s funny. You said, “How do we do this? “Deuteronomy.”

Deuteronomy, do this yeah. It say, verse 11, or chapter 11 verse 19 it says, “You shall teach it them to your children.” He’s talking about the commands. “Talk of them when you are sitting in your house, “and when you are walking by the way, “and when you lie down, and when you rise up.” So-

This is like a casual like, all parts of the day.

What it is, is it’s a way of life. So, when I think about what is our home to look like, how are we to cultivate fruitfulness in our children, prepare their hearts, that soil of their heart, for when the seed, when they do get that Seed of the Gospel. Either from us or from someone else. That we, this is like the main thing. There’s not much in the Bible about parenting, which is amazing. Cause, we were just talking about this parenting is hard. And it’s like we literally sometimes feel like we have no idea what we’re doing. But I feel like every single parent feels that way. You would think that there’d be like an entire book in the Bible about parenting and like here’s how you do this, here’s how you do this. But in reality-

There’s somethings we can apply right?

Yeah. There’s a handful of areas that directly talks to how we raise kids. And one of them very early on is teach them God’s Word. Teach them laws. Now, this is to the Jewish people. And He’s specifically telling ’em to teach ’em the Law. But it still applies to us as Christians that were to teach the Word to our kids. And so this is one of the main ways we do this. Cultivate our children’s hearts is by being a home, either in the morning, in the evening, at night, when we’re walking around, when we’re going to bed, when we’re awake, what whatever it is.

This actually reminds me, ’cause sometimes we’ll post about family Bible time. And we usually do ours in the morning and I’ve seen people say, “Oh, I don’t think my husband can do it “’cause he leaves to work really early.” Or they’ll even say, “Oh, we have to do ours at night “because of his work schedule. “So that the family can be together.” And, I think any time of day that you can share the Word is good time.

An example of this like, so, you’re helping Olive garden. Olive’s Garden. You can be out there and you’re in the soil and you’re digging it up and you’re helping her put a seed in, that moment is a perfect moment to be like, “Hey, “how do you think the seed grows?” Like if this seed doesn’t, die in the ground. And now you’re literally pulling up, a parable that Jesus gave. He says, “Unless the seed dies, “there can be no plant.” And so he was talking about Himself, His own body, the breaking of His body.

It also needs sunlight.

It needs sunlight. So there’s so many things that in just normal life, you could be teaching the Word of God to your kids. But what does it take to be able to do that?

Well, you have to be prepared. You have to be ready.

So you have to be-

You have to know the Word yourself.

Know the Word of God. So, being in the Word and discussing it with your spouse, as we talked about last week. Having these conversations, reading the Bible, reading through it. If you’re a believer, and you haven’t read through the whole Bible, I wanna encourage you to read through the whole Bible. what we believe in is this Word. And if we haven’t read the whole thing, how do we know we’re believing in?

Yeah.

Like we need to know the God of the Bible. So read it, know it. So you can at least tell your children like, yeah, I’ve read through the whole Bible at minimum. But it’s also good ’cause you get to know the whole thing. So, we’re home. So there’s first and foremost our job as being fruitful and multiplying. Having bearing fruit and cultivating the heart of our children is being home, where the Word is taught. That’s spoken of.

Okay so, Aaron likes to teach and I like to say, okay so how do we do this practically? Aaron, for all of our listeners, they’re like sitting there going, okay, so how?

Just do it.

Just do it.

We’re just trying-

Where’s that whole book-

You should just do it.

Where’s that whole book in the Bible about parenting, right?

Yeah.

So how do we do this as parents practically? Well, first I wanna just share proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go. “Even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” And this doesn’t say, train up a child in a specific way he should go. It’s just telling us like-

In the way.

In whichever way you train that child when he grows up, he will not depart from it. And so, that should be an encouragement to us to be aware of how we’re training and teaching our children.

And what you’re not saying you can train them up any way you want. What you’re saying is, whatever way you train them, they will adapt to that.

They’ll be familiar with it, they’ll know it, they’ll…

So we should be aware that if we sit back and we expect that someone else is gonna teach our kids about the Lord, or that someone else is gonna teach them about the world, and we’re just gonna kinda sit back and do our thing, we’re teaching something.

Well they’re gonna have that same mentality when they become parents. But if we can do the hard work and the intentionality, have the intentionality to invest in them while they’re little, then chances are, as I look at this verse, when they become parents, they will do the investing into their children. It’s that legacy, living. It’s that generational, passing on of knowledge and inspiration. We have to teach them how to pray. So, we have to teach ’em what it looks like, what it feels like, what the Bible says about prayer so that they know and feel confident in praying.

And, we’ve written several books on prayer. Not on, specifically how to pray, but we’ve written books for prayer to be an inspiration to people that want to know how to pray. And, the reason we did that is because we had so, we still have people all the time saying, “How do we pray? “I need some encouragement how to pray. Or, “Have gone through your book “and then there’s things I didn’t even know “I should be praying for.” And I think this is a product of, not being taught how to pray. Not being shown it by example not being, like what you were just saying. What does the Word say about it? What does Jesus say about it? What does the Bible, what does, the epistles talk about prayer?

And also I’ve learned from just experience with our five children is giving them an opportunity to pray at the dinner table, at Bible time, before bed, when they get hurt, when they’re dealing with, conflict issues with siblings or with each other, with the parent and the child. Giving them opportunities to experience prayer. And showing them what that’s like.

Yeah, because the last thing we want is to make prayer a distant and foreign concept to them. Whether, I mean, ’cause some people might be thinking like, well what if they don’t understand what they’re doing? There’s lots of things that we teach our kids that they have to learn to do before they understand why they’re doing it. There’s a lot of things. So many things, Math, reading, we have to teach them like they’re not understanding everything but we’re teaching them the fundamentals of it. So, prayer is important and if we do it with them, show them and allow them to do it. It’s gonna be that much easier for them to grow in it in their faith. What’s the next thing?

So the next one is, teach them how to read and understand the Bible? And that just requires, reading it to them, reading parts of it to them. That, age appropriately I would say. And then as they become readers giving them sections to read, what do you have anything for that?

Yeah, I would say there’s probably a bunch of listeners that are thinking to themselves like, well, I don’t know how to read the Bible or understand it. And then I would ask those listeners, were you shown it? Were you taught by your parents? Did they exemplify to you a life of reading the Word of God not being afraid of it, not, opening it up and talking about it?

And if that’s you and you didn’t have that example, don’t be afraid to learn now as an adult.

Start, yeah.

How to do this.

And to be honest, just start. And this is what we tell people all the time is like, open the Word of God, go to the book of John. Read through the Gospels. Open up Proverbs, and just show your kids that the Bible is not something to be afraid of. Read it. It’s a book that God wrote about Himself for us. The next thing is practically teach them who God is. That He’s not this, like, well, what is God? Who’s God, what’s His name? Like, the Bible tells us what His names are. How He describes Himself. There’s all these story… The Bible’s about Him and His Son.

There’s actually a really cool book that I got for the kids. I don’t know who it’s by sorry, but it’s called “The Names of God”. And it’s orange-ish and it has Moses and the burning bush on the cover.

Oh cool, I didn’t know this.

Each page has a name of God with a description of what that name means.

So, that’s a great point is-

Resources.

Also find other resources that teach who God is. Now, I would make sure that those resources are Biblical. But find ways to incorporate teaching your children like, “Hey, who is this God?” Oh, He created everything. Oh, so you read the words with them, you show them in other ways, and you teach them.

So moving on to practically teaching your children. You gotta teach them God’s plan for redemption and why we need redemption.

And this-

And this is, sorry. This isn’t like like a once conversation, this is like over time.

This is like over time.

And it’s layered so you start out small with the small kids, and it just, grows and-

Can I give one real practical example?

Yeah.

When I make a mistake, let’s say I, assume my son did something that he didn’t do. Which unfortunately happens.

Happens.

And then I have to go to him and be like, “Hey, I thought you did this thing “and you didn’t do it, I’m so sorry. “I have to apologize.” And then I tell him, “You know what? “Because all people make mistakes, “and I just, I want you to know that “we need to repent of our mistakes, “and we need to recognize them “and know that we are mistake makers or sinners.”

So you’re showing him what repentance looks like.

Yes, and then I say, but this is why it’s so awesome that God sent Jesus, because none of us can do it on our own. We are all sinners and enslaved to our sin without Jesus. But Jesus died for our sins. So even the sin that like, my mistake I made that when I’ve lied in the past, when I’ve done this or stole, like whatever it is that I’ve sinned in, Jesus has washed that away and that’s why I believe in Him, and He helps me be better. And so now we get to in our conversations, when we have these little situations, we get to show them in very small ways, and over and over and over again because we all make mistakes a lot, what God’s plan for redemption is for mankind.

You have some verses here, I think you should share ’em just so that people listening can be reminded today of why we need redemption It’ll be good for them too. So, why don’t you just roll through ’em?

Yeah, this so this is in, all these are from Romans, the book of Romans. And Romans 3:21 says, “But now…” It’s actually 21 through 26. “But now the righteousness of God “has been manifest apart from the Law, “although the law and the prophets bear witness to it. “The righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ “for all who believe. “For there is no distinction. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God “and are justified by His grace as a gift, “through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. “Whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood “to received by faith. “This was to show God’s righteousness “because in His divine forbearance “He had passed over former sins. “It was to show His righteousness at the present time, “so that He might be just, “and the Justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” And that’s kind of a simple synopsis of, we’re all sinners, we’re all under judgment. Christ came, and He took on our punishment. That’s what propitiation means, He replaced us for Himself. And so we get to… And it was to show God’s glory, not our glory. And it was to redeem us, through faith in Jesus. So, we teach our kids that over and over and over again because, we want… One of the problems in this world of people not receiving the Gospel is people thinking that they don’t need it. They don’t know, well people are good. What do I… I’m a good person, I don’t need Jesus. Okay, that’s great. Every person, it says, “For all have sinned “and fallen short.” We all need Jesus. Every man, woman, child on the planet need Jesus. And so, we teach them over and over and over again like, “Hey you know what?” Like, yeah you are good. And you’re walking in this, but we are inherently sinners. And we need Jesus. And so, we need to teach ’em that.

Okay, so moving on to the next one it’s teach them what it means to be a Christian. So, you’re exemplifying that obviously, through your own actions. And then through your words and through Scripture you can also teach them what does it look like? What does it mean to be a Christian? John 13:35 says, “By this all people will know “that you are my disciples, “if you have love for one another. “Jesus answered him, ‘If anyone loves me, “‘he will keep my word “‘and my Father will love him “and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” So-

Right, so this-

Love Jesus, obey Him.

Yeah so, the way we show them what it means to be a Christian is by our lives for them. So that the Word of God plays it on them. So we love Jesus and we obey Jesus. Jesus says, “Love God and love each other. “These are the greatest two commandments.” And so, in summary of this one is don’t say, “Do what I say not what I do.”

Don’t say you’re a Christian then not be a Christian.

Do what I say and what I do. That’s how we live it out for our children.

And then the last one here is teach them God’s Laws. So in Galatians 3:24 through 26, it says, “So then the law was our guardian until Christ came. “In order that we might be justified by faith. “But now that faith has come, “we’re no longer under a guardian for in Christ Jesus “you’re all sons of God through faith.”

We’re taught about our need for a savior by the law. That’s the job of the law. So a lot of people are thinking like, well, we’re not under the law so why would we teach it? Because it’s the law that brings us to the knowledge of needing a savior. I can’t keep the law, I need a savior. And so we need to teach that our kids what the Bible says about morality, what the Bible says about sin. So, we’re here to work the ground as Adam did. Adam’s first job was to take care of the garden. He was to name all the animals, he was to tend to the plants, this was his job. So he’s working the ground. So it’s our job to work the ground of our children’s hearts. Adam didn’t make the trees produce fruit, God did that. There’s another scripture that says, “One man waters, another man plants, “but it’s the Lord that brings the increase.” So, this is how it is in gardening. We put the seed in the ground, we do the water, the soils there. We have to trust the Lord that He’s gonna do but through nature, what He created those to do. So, we work the ground of our children’s hearts by loving them, teaching them, showing them, being with them, and making sure that we’re getting their hearts soft.

So, at the beginning of the season in our garden, we touched on it briefly in the beginning but, before we had planted anything other than the Strawberries ’cause they’re perennial and they come back every year, we went through and broke up all the soil because it gets kind of hard after snow has been sitting on it and dries out.

After it’s been neglected.

And so we break up all the soil and we loosen it with a rake and then we add some amendments, to just kind of get it lively again. And then we plant. And so, I think that-

And then we constantly water and prune and add amendments. I think that what we’re trying to share with you guys here today is that we need to give our children the best ground, for the Word of God to grow in. And so that’s kind of why we wanted to pull in this picture of our children’s hearts being like soil and that we get the privilege, the responsibility, and the opportunity to share with them what it means to be a Christian and to believe in God, and what it looks like through our own example.

And again this doesn’t mean that we’re in control of their salvation, but we aren’t getting of how we raise our children. How we love them, how we show them the Gospel through our lives, how we teach them the Gospel through our words, and that we make them aware, and knowledgeable, and ready to receive when that time comes for faith to come alive in them.

Totally, and as a warning for all of us parents, something that we don’t wanna do, we don’t wanna participate in hardening that soil. We don’t want to exasperate our children. We don’t wanna make them-

Or discouraged them.

Discourage them or anything like that. And so, this is a good time you guys for all of us to just evaluate our parenting, the way we interact with our children, the way we interact with each other in front of our children. I mean, all times not just in front of but even behind closed doors. I think it’s, so vital that we do a heart check and say, “Are we walking out what we believe be true?”

And I just wanna give an encouragement to anyone who may have children that are older. And maybe they feel like this is too, that’s too late. Like, oh I wish I had heard this years ago, okay. I don’t know what that’s like. But I wanna encourage those parents, that you may have a different role in your child’s life now. Maybe you’re not so involved, maybe you don’t have, as much time as you’d like. But you can pray for them, you can encourage them, you can be available to them and reach out to them and say, “Hey, I just want you to know I’m here “for you, when you’re ready.” And also to trust the Lord. Because again, we’re not in charge of their salvation.

Well we have, we believe in a powerful God, a God of miracles, a God of healing. And so, why not pray those prayers, like we should be.

So let’s read the actual parable “The Sower and The Seed, and The Soils” ’cause this is where this all came from. It’s in Matthew 13. It says, “That same day Jesus went out of the house “and sat beside the sea, “and great crowds gathered about Him. “So that He got into a boat “and sat down and the whole crowd stood on the beach. “And He told them many things in parables saying, “‘A sower went out to sow. “‘And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, “‘and the birds came and devoured them. “‘Other seed fell on rocky ground “‘where they did not have much soil. “‘And immediately they spring up, since they had “‘no depth of soil. “‘But when the sun rose, they were scorched. “‘And since they had no roots, they withered away. “‘Other seeds fell among thorns “‘and the thorns grew up and choked them. “‘Other seeds fell in good soil and produce grain, “‘some hundredfold, some 60, some 30. “‘He who has an ear let him hear.'” And so, it goes on to Jesus explains that the seed is the Word of God and the soil is men’s hearts, and that’s where we get this idea from. And I just wanna give a quick like thought. So, we look at the one with the thorns that grows up with, and it chokes and explains about like the riches of the world and the worries of the world. That’s something that we could do. If we show our kids by the way we raise them that work is the most important, that money is the most important, that possessions are the most important that status is the most important. What do you think’s gonna happen with that faith when it springs up, and the real world kicks in? And they have bills, and they’re chasing a career, and they, right? We could potentially give them a perspective of the world that could have those things grow up in them, with them, and choke them out because they’re gonna feel so anxious about these things, rather than running to the Word of God and realizing that that’s the most important. That God knows and that their walk with Jesus is the main thing. So, that’s just a simple way to understand some of these ideas is like what are the things that we’re showing our kids with our lives and teaching them by our actions and choices.

I love that. As you’re explaining that just now I remembered last year we planted several probably close to like eight, mammoth sunflowers and it was a really cool experience.

Oh yeah, those were cool.

They were super tall like eight feet tall.

12, no that’s…

No 12?

Yeah, they were huge.

They were crazy huge, and the heads on them were so big. But if you guys remember with sunflowers and many flowers, they follow the sun. It was just super obvious with these because of how big their heads were. But as the sun traveled across the sky throughout the day, they would literally turn and be facing a different direction, but they’re always facing the sun. And what I love about this Aaron is as our children grow up and become adults, our hope, my hope for my children is that-

Is that they’re chasing the sun.

They’re chasing the sun.

That’s good.

That they’re always looking towards God’s light and His word, to guide them and to feed them and to be their source of everything.

And we could potentially hinder that way of thinking in them. Again, it’s gonna be their responsibility one day completely. But, if we say God’s The most important thing, but when they see in our life that other things are way more important by our actions, it could cloud them. And they could chase things for many years, until the end until they have to get on their knees and be like, “Where am I at?” And they have to recalibrate themselves. We could help avoid that, not perfectly again we just, this is a, how can we participate in the cultivating of the soil? So if we can be thinking about these things then we can be like, “Man, “are we showing our kids a consistent “way of being in our own life?”

Another thing that I just wanna share with parents out there is, make sure you are intentional to spend time with your children, that’s not just doing stuff around the house, but it’s super super focused, where you’ve got eye contact, affection. You’re asking them really good questions and you’re like-

Unique questions for that child.

Well things that they would know, that you just wanna get to know them. Because that’s how you form trust and that’s how you… Part of this whole idea of cultivating the soil is getting to know your children but also participating in a conversation with them. So it’s not just you telling them about God, it’s you experiencing God with them and showing them what that looks like. But don’t miss out on the joy and the blessing of hearing from your children keep your ears open and your heart-

But our kids say amazing things.

And your heart’s sensitive to their understanding because as they grow that understanding changes. And so it’s really good for us to just dig in with them.

So yeah, it’s good that we’re listening to our kids, letting them know that we’re there for them and it also helps us to know what thing we should be focusing on with them. When we listen to them and hear where their hearts are at. So, we hope that encourage you guys today. Again, we’re not the end all, be all we don’t think this is the fix to everything but it’s a way that we could shift our perspective as parents and be like, “Oh!” like, “We have a, we’re playing a role. It’s not just, someday this thing’s gonna happen, it’s that we get to help prepare them for that, to receive it. We get to help shape them and cultivate them. And, that’s a pretty honorable thing that we get to do. And we need to realize how powerful it is the role that we have in our children’s lives.

All right, well, here’s that time where you guys get the blessing of prayer, and it’s specifically for you parents. But for everyone listening we just wanna go into a time of prayer. So please join us. Dear Lord, thank you for the responsibility of parenting. It is not always easy yet it is a worthy and noble task. We pray we would be intentional parents who tend to the soil of our children’s hearts. We pray we would be willing to get down on our knees to get dirty even when it’s inconvenient or challenging, and show our children how to live according to Your ways. We pray we would raise our children to know You and know Your Word. May You plant seeds of salvation in their hearts, and may our children receive You and be world changers bringing You glory in Jesus name, amen.

Amen. Thanks for joining us on this week’s episode. We love you guys, we’re praying for you guys. We’ll see you next week.

Did you enjoy today’s show? If you did, it would mean the world to us if you could leave us a review on iTunes. Also, if you’re interested you can find many more encouraging stories and resources @ marriageafterGod.com. And let us help you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.

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