Kids and Cockleburs

Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them.
1 Timothy 4:16

Have you ever had the experience of walking through an open field in late summer and feeling the sting of cockleburs in your shoes and around your ankles? These thin, brown weeds are armed with dozens of sharp spines that grab your socks and eventually work their way into the skin. They’re terribly annoying.

Cockleburs are remarkable in another way, however. Inside their prickly seedpods are not just one, but several seeds, and they germinate in different years. If the first seed fails to sprout one year due to poor conditions, the second is still waiting in the ground. When the next season rolls around, it begins to open and grow. And if that one doesn’t take root, there is still a third seed waiting for the year after that.

Cockleburs can tell us something about parenting. When the “seeds” of your diligent instruction on life and faith fail to germinate, the effort seems in vain. Yet if you persist in your teaching and in setting a godly example, your endeavors are likely to be rewarded (1 Timothy 4:16). Like a cocklebur seed that lies dormant for a decade or more, the lessons you plant now may one day break through and blossom in the hearts and minds of your children.

Before you say good night…

  • Have you seen examples in your kids of lessons that blossomed years after they were planted?
  • What “seeds” are you planting in your children today?
  • How can you help each other to be patient as you wait for your seeds to sprout?

Father, we need Your strength to “keep on keeping on.” Lift our hearts when we become discouraged. Help us to persevere in sowing good seeds in the lives of our children, leaving the results—and the harvest—to You. Amen.

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This devotional is taken from Night Light for Parents. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.