Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Reaping What You Sow

I've been dwelling a lot lately on the Proverb, "Train a child in the way he should go and when he is older he shall not depart from it." It's one thing to read this and believe its' truth but another thing to put it into action. Training lately for me on good days is exhausting. Although I'm thankful for the wisdom I've received in picking my battles, there are days when I'm tempted to just not pick any battle. What dangerous ground I'm treading on! For I know that anger unchecked will lead to rage, strong wills will lead to rebellion and lack of self control will make for one lead by self, not God's word.

Recently I've been experiencing back pain. It began about four months ago and has worsened over time. I've wondered if it's just the result of overdoing it or something that happens to all moms with small children. Last week it began affecting my sleep and well sleep is something I take seriously :-) So I scheduled an appointment with a chiropractor from our church. After a set of x-rays he confirmed that things are indeed not normal and I have some definite disc degeneration. Over the course of two appts. he'd would ask me if I had experienced some sort of trauma in my teen years. A car accident, fall? I told him nothing came to mind, maybe it was the result of my competitive softball days. Ya know one to many slides into home base. After going over my x-rays with Chris & I he again said he believed my problems first began with a serious fall about ten years ago and has worsened over time. At that moment I knew exactly what he was talking about. The memory was triggered. 16 years old, Pinetop AZ. I was climbing a tree, hoping impress a guy I liked. (don't ask... now you know why I tried to repress this memory) Well I got pretty high, branch snapped and BAM! I fell hard. Right on my tail bone. I gave everyone a good scare but I was fine, embarrassed, but still in one piece. Driving home from this recent Dr's appointment I was struck with how I could possibly be paying the price from this silly fall that happened over ten years ago.

Where will my children be in ten years? What price will they paying? Or better yet what will they be reaping due to my parenting? It's sobering for sure. I've been re-reading JC Ryle, The Duties of Parents and my soul has been stirred to more diligently train my children. To pick these battles now even though I'm tired and just want to turn a deaf ear.

XVI Train them remembering continually the promises of scripture.

You have a plain promise on your side, "Train up your child in the way he should go, and when he is old he shall not depart from it" (Prov. 22:6) Think what it is to have a promise like this. Fathers and mother, when your hearts are failing and ready to halt, look at the word of this text and take comfort.

Think, too, what the promise contains, before you refuse to take comfort from it. It speaks of a certain time when good training shall especially bear fruit- when a child is old. Surely there is comfort in this. You may not see with your own eyes the result of careful training, but you know not what blessed fruits may not spring from it, long after you are dead and gone. It is not God's way to give everything at once. Afterward is the time when He often chooses to work, both in the things of nature and in the things of grace. Afterward is the season when affliction bears the peaceable fruit of righteousness (Heb 12:11). Afterward was the time when the son who refused to work in his father's vineyard repented and went (Matt 21:29). And afterward is the time to which parents must look forward if they see not success at once- you must sow in hope and plant in hope."

Chris & I are blessed to be around beautiful families that are reaping the hard work that they sowed when younger. Families that still enjoy being together making memories even though the children are off and married. Daughters who go on trips to Europe with their mom. Sons still golf and eat wings with Dad. I see this and most definitely want it now. Particularly when Chris is home. I can be tempted to think why can't everyone just get along and be one big happy family? Not to say we don't have moments that we treasure and love now as a family but the afterward has not yet come for us and well there is A LOT more work to do!

So moms do not grow weary with your constant sowing into your young children. For we have the promise of scripture on our side! And teenagers.... don't be silly and climb trees :-)


Anonymous said...

Tara beautiful devotional refelection. You really showed your transparent heart and it was refreshing to hear.
Stephanie McLaren

Mrs. Miller said...

A wise post, and elegantly stated.

Mr and Mrs said...

Hi Tara! So Lukas told me he ran into you via facebook - so I had to look you up! I am so glad to have found your blog -- that's how us young moms actually get to hear one another's complete thoughts without interruption. Your children are beautiful - and I will be back to read more of your thoughts and encouragement! And I'm glad you've diagnosed your back problem --- oh, to be 16 again - no thanks!

Blessings, Christa Reichert (aka Naugle)

Briana Almengor said...

As one who deals with chronic back pain and has recently seen an increase with her pain, I can appreciate the distraction (at best) back pain can be and de-motivator for training small ones. I will be praying for you, Tara..and think it's God's kindness to couple your reading/meditation on training your kiddos with something that forces you to face weakness and inability to do (in your own strength) what you're being called to do. I will pray that in your weakness, His power will be made perfect.

megan russell said...

So good. Thanks for posting Tara!

Liz said...

Tara - you are a VERY wise mother indeed, and faithful to do what God has called you to. Despite the trials of motherhood, the word CONTENTMENT pours out of every word you write and every action you describe... thanks for your amazing example!! Love you!


Sarah said...

Sorry to hear about your back pain...is there something that can be done to fix it, or at least help it?