I read today that it takes 15 years for an olive plant to become an olive tree.
In the Garden of Gethsemane over in Israel, there are two-thousand-year-old olive trees that still produce olives.
Their roots run deep.
The Mount of Olives is a mountain covered with olive trees that have lived for centuries. When those trees were saplings, they were nurtured so that they have remained productive.
That really is a primary goal for parenting. Raising up and nurturing you child so that when they are "grown" and "leave the house" they are productive godly men and women.
Some suggestions for this:
1. The ultimate goal of parenting is not to please your child but to do what is best for them. If a parent pleases the child all of the time, the child is the parent.
Proverbs 13:24, "He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him."
I might receive (as a parent) some momentary relief by "just letting little Johnny have his way," - but those short moments of emotional pause can build up - and soon little Johnny is a little demon. :) :)
Mom and dads, it is becoming a cultural norm to place our children in the position of being an idol. Only God is to be worshipped.
2. The job (and it is work) of a parent is to be the filter on their homes. Water filters keep impurities from getting into what you drink. Parents are the filters for their homes so junk from the world is not inculcated in the life of their children.
3. All of this is wrapped around one word: Relationship. Here's the principle: Rules without relationship will always lead to rebellion.
Being the parent (when it comes to discipline) and setting filters on the "input from the world" they receive, will always be more palatable, better received and understood by a child who understands that their parents love them unconditionally.
And that comes through having a strong relationship.
Your kids don't care what you know - or ultimately what you insist on - as long as they know that you care. And love. And are concerned.
Just a thought for a Wednesday.