• Consistency in the Word of God
  • Daily washing with the water of the Word of God
  • Pointing to Jesus, who is their Living Water  
  • Planting close by the source of the Water

“But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:2–3)

Here is true wisdom I gleaned from my friend that day: “Why am I so inconsistent? It’s because I haven’t really made knowing Christ the priority. I allow other things, less important things, to take up my time, instead of spending it with Him. In doing this, I am teaching my children to do the same.” What about you? Are you taking the time to “water” your plants? With a lack of water comes a lack of fruit.

Where’s the Fruit: Entering the Teen Years

No longer kids, not quite teens—these years are filled with changing ideas, attitudes, and bodies. These years can be somewhat unstable, but I think there is a purpose for the turbulence: to strengthen and sharpen these children, who are preparing for a season in which they will be given the privilege of bearing more responsibility. It is a time when they begin to start working out and walking out and living out these things that we’ve been sowing into them all these previous years—as their choices.

Does it seem like you are always rubbing each other the wrong way at this age? Maybe you’re rubbing each other the right way. Let’s look at this Scripture: “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17)

As we sharpen each other, we make each other stronger, more useful and more productive, for the glory of God. Why does the “sharpening” occur so frequently? Because we live together 24/7, we have ample opportunity to do some sharpening. And let’s not forget what else sharpens us: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

This is also a time where our pre-teens may struggle to produce fruit. This is the season when I remind them (and myself) that it is the work of the Spirit to conform us to the image of Christ, as we give control of our flesh over to God. I teach my children that self-control really comes from putting ourselves under God’s control.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22–23)

Recently I had been praying and hoping for a passion for Christ to make itself evident in my children. I wanted to see a transformation. I saw a glimpse recently as one child was quoting Scripture to me in regard to how the Lord was helping this child deal with some challenges, and I realized that although this child hadn’t had some sort of outward “spiritual experience,” the Word of God that I had sown over the years was bringing inward change. The sowing of seed, God’s Word, into their minds was transforming their hearts. On the inside, where I could not observe it, metamorphosis was taking place; God’s Word was doing its work.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)