How Does Your Garden Grow?

"But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."--Matthew 13:23 I'm not sure why, but I have always been fascinated with plant analogies (see the series on John 15). It's not that I'm all that great of a gardener. In fact, I always feel sorry for the plants that people give me because they are destined to an early and sad death. If I want to be charitable to these living things, I hand them over to Janna, who, unlike me, is able to mother them properly.

Despite my ineptness when it comes to gardening, I have always found the metaphors and pictures fascinating and full of rich truth. This week, we'll be taking a look at Matthew 13's "Parable of the Soils" (you can also find parallel accounts in Mark 4:1-20 and Luke 8:4-15). My NIV study Bible calls it the "Parable of the Sower," but I personally think it is more about the soil than the one who sows the seed. It is interesting that the seed and the sower remains the same, but it is the soil that determines the outcome and the crop. Any smart farmer knows that the quality of the soil to receive the seed is just as important as the seed itself.

This week, we will look at the four different types of soil mentioned in this passage and consider how it might impact our parenting. Just like the soil in our backyards may all vary, depending on where we live, each of our children may have a different type of heart soil, Like real soil, soil that is sub-standard can be amended so that it can be used to grow a fruitful crop. So it is with our children. As parents, we have the opportunity to be used by the Lord to amend the soil of our children's hearts so that the seed He plants in it will grow abundantly.

So, I hope you'll join me this week as we get out our gardening gloves and start digging!

Part 1 of a series: How Does Your Garden Grow?