Planting Our Children in the Right Environment

Andrea Rudy


Raising a child to follow the Lord is like planting a tiny seed.

When it’s very young, even a little care will cause it to shoot up and thrive. It easily accepts whatever it is first fed and happily grows in its sheltered environment.

The more time that passes though, the more strategic the gardener must be to expose it. Not too much at first, or the young seedling will shrivel up in the harsh conditions. But a little sun here. A little wind there. These things cause roots to dig deep and strong. Without any kind of challenge, roots grow weak and shallow.

Eventually when a little plant is transferred to the elements, one of two things will happen.

Either the harsh outside world will immediately cause it to become uprooted and wither away because it was too sheltered from difficulties.

Or it will thrive, its roots growing so far down into the ground even a wild storm can not shake it.

Every Christian can recall a turning point in their walk with the Lord. Something challenged us. Some impossibly difficult thing stopped us up short and we found we had two choices - to either dig in deep or to uproot.

Remembering this in teaching our children to walk with the Lord, we ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom in carefully, strategically exposing them to the elements. When (not if) they encounter that Hard Thing, they can be prepared and deeply rooted in truth.

To those currently struggling with that Hard Thing - don’t be ashamed of your questioning. Doubt is not the end. It is an invitation to find your answers and dig more deeply than you ever realized was possible.