As mothers who are pouring our lives into our children, seeking to diligently train and disciple them, there are sometimes moments of discouragement (Will she grow to have more of a servant’s heart? Will he ever have victory over his lack of self-control? Will they grow up to follow Christ or are my efforts meaningless?).
I recently read an article by Tracy Klicka on this topic that was so encouraging to me that I want to share it with you. In this article, Tracy shares the secrets of the bamboo farmer and how that relates to the spiritual growth of our children. Although she specifically mentions parenting teens, I think this metaphor is relevant for all ages.
“I love the story of the farmer and the Chinese bamboo tree, for it accurately reflects what the teen years are often like. When a farmer plants a bamboo tree in the ground, though he waters and fertilizes it for a year, he sees absolutely no growth. The second year he does the same and he sees…no growth. The third year is spent doing the same. Again, no growth. At this point, I’m wondering how the first bamboo farmer kept going (!) for once again, in the fourth year, though there is the same faithful watering and fertilizing…there is alas, no visible growth.
This last adjective is important to notice—for several years the farmer sees no visible growth. This is where as parents so many of us can relate. We invest in our children’s hearts, giving them the Word of God, praying with and for them, seeking to bring the truth of the gospel into their lives. Then we wait with longing to see spiritual fruit and genuine faith come forth from their hearts. And for many of us, what we see is similar to what that bamboo farmer sees—a tiny, little stub of a bamboo shoot, certainly not reflective of what we’ve been pouring into our children for so many years!”
Read the rest of the article here at Tracy Klicka’s website.
“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil. 1:6