What is your focus when it comes to parenting? Parenting is hard; long days, short nights, and trying to keep a healthy marriage between dishes, diapers, and hormones. Discipleship is easy to lose sight of when we are in the trenches.
As a mother of four grown children, I understand! We had four children in 39 months, and when they were young, I remember thinking many times, “Am I ever going to do anything besides feeding, diapering, cleaning, and then repeating it all over again in a few hours?” Can you relate?
Before I knew it, I turned around and my toddlers had turned into teenagers. Through a series of miracles, my husband and I were able to take our teens to Israel on an educational tour. It forever changed our lives, but it also helped us as parents to renew our focus on teaching and training our teens in the few years we had left with them.
Today I want to share with you something we learned in Israel that helped us as parents to remember the goal of parenting.
It was a hot day in August as we toured in Israel. One of the first things you notice in Israel is the olive trees. Olive trees grow everywhere. They are planted in orchards but they also grow in unusual places.
According to Israeli law, olive trees represent ownership of the land, so if you own the tree, you own the land. One day our tour guide talked about the different philosophies behind planting olive trees in the land of Israel.
Our guide explained that there are two methods of planting olive trees:
Method 1 – The Average Farmer
But the Jewish farmers had a different method of planting olive trees:
Method 2 – the Jewish Farmer
Our guide then stopped and said, “Any questions?” I asked, “What is the difference between the two trees in the end?”
He paused and said, “The quality of the fruit.”
I don’t know about you, but I was instantly inspired and convicted at the same time. What kind of fruit is growing on the trees in my home?
Self-examination is never easy, but it helps us to see where we can improve.
If you still have children at home, I hope this story will encourage you to focus as a parent on disciplining the next generation! If your children are grown, I hope this will help you as you pray for other parents in your life.
May God bless all your tree farms!
I would encourage all of you to read this and other great articles at Homeschool Life Magazine!