Planting and Watering Little Sprouts of Faith | Gift 25 | 40 Gifts of Lent
Reflections on I Corinthians 1 – 8
It’s not the one who plants or the one who waters who is at the center of this process but God, who makes things grow I Corinthians 3: 6 – 7 (MSG)
I finally have a garden. It has taken several years of nurturing the soil and ridding the ground of overbearing thistles with prickly thorns and tap roots very difficult to pull up out of the ground. I had to work hard and steady week after week, staying focused on the vision I had for the garden, to prepare the soil for new growth. Seeing the fruit of my hard work is quite rewarding, seeing God’s handiwork in every glorious bloom.
I Corinthians 3: 6-7 is another gift of hope that I treasure because I am reminded how faithful God has been to our family. There were months and years when our children looked like they were growing thorny thistles with a tap-root trying to choke their faith. My husband and I fought against the fatigue of constantly pulling out the weeds in their lives, turning over the soil once more and planting seeds once again…not to lose sight of the vision we had for our children to produce a righteous fruit, to grow and thrive in their faith in God, by grace alone.
Parenting is the hardest thing you’ll ever do and the more you love your kids, the harder it is. You already realize how much time is involved with planting truth into your kids and to continually fuel their faith but have you considered how much prayer is vital to their spiritual growth?
In the book, Praying Circles Around Your Children, author Mark Batterson exhorts us with a metaphor of praying circles around our children. It simply means “to pray without ceasing.” It’s praying until God answers. It’s praying with more intensity, more tenacity. It’s not just praying for, it’s praying through.  That’s when you’ll see the thistles and tap roots of sin in your children’s life replaced with new life mirroring Christ. It’s a beautiful garden!
Praying for our kids strengthened our resolve to stay focused on the vision for them. With your physical eyes, you see who a person is. With your spiritual eyes you see what a person can be. 
What vision do you have for your children? What does the garden look like in your home? Planting and watering is knowing your children and knowing scripture so that you can train them in the way they should go. Pray that they won’t just survive but pray that they will thrive.  Your family garden will thrive when you saturate your life with God’s word. Read God’s book so you will know what to teach your children and what to pray for your children.
Don’t just pray for them, pray with them. Praying for your kids is like taking them for a ride; praying with your kids is like teaching them to drive.  Repeat words from God’s book to your children. Pray those words together. Repeat them over and over again. Your prayer is for your children to use God’s word as their GPS to guide their way.
I remember the exciting days watching our children grow strong in their love for God and the exciting day when they became the drivers of their own children’s faith. Planting and watering little sprouts of faith in the tender hearts of their daughters and young sons.
The effect of planting is faith. The effect of watering is faith. But the decisive cause of faith — the life and growth of little sprouts of faith — is not planting and watering, but God.
Rise during the night and cry out. Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to him in prayer, pleading for your children. (Lamentations 2:19)