A few years ago, Doug and the kids built a cute little raised flower bed out in the entry area of our yard. They laid decorator bricks and hauled in lots of soil to build the ground height up several inches. It was my kids’ dream come true. Dirt and worms and water and tools.
Finally the day arrived when the soil was ready for the flower starter transplants. As craftsmen long awaiting their reward, our young gardeners were thrilled with their final product. It was stunning. Colors and vibrant life now radiated from our yard.
The children fought over who would get to water and care for the precious flowers…at first. At least until the summer got hotter, the ground became thirstier, and the weeds started coming in faster.
Year Two of our flower garden did not seem so spectacular, so the kids tried to cut a few more corners. Ever try just breaking those weeds off quickly at the ground level to hurry through the weeding? Within weeks, we forgot any flowers ever lived there at all!
The same temptation seems to come to me when I am tending my own tender child-plants. I’ve tried nipping that irritating kid behavior right off at the surface…only to see it return with three more obnoxious behaviors in its company.
Son, I said, stop hitting your sister immediately…
Son, I said, STOP the hitting!
(Crying from daughter heard again)
Son, did you just push her and smash her toy?
What were you thinking, being so mean?
You were busy weed whacking when a root of anger and jealousy needed helped under the surface.
How can I possibly have time to get down in the root of all the kid and teen issues erupting all around me?
You won’t. But neither will you have time to whack on all those weeds if you don’t make the time. They’ll just grow faster and stronger
How will I know what the root problems are? Great question. You won’t know, but God will. And if you ask Him, He’ll give you x-ray vision to see things you have never seen before.