Thursday, June 2, 2011

The apple don't fall far from the tree...

If you have an apple tree in your back yard...and you go out and take all the apples off of it...does it cease to be an apple tree? Or how about if you also hang oranges on the tree then...does it then become an orange tree? 

Jesus says you'll know people by their fruits.

Romans 1 says that Creation tells us the same. Genesis 1 God points out several times very clearly that fruit trees bear seeds and that you plant a seed and that is what grows. You don't plant an apple seed and have it grow a pear tree. And, this is helpful since the easiest way to identify a tree if you're not educated about trees is simply by looking at their fruit. The fruit make identifying the tree obvious.

The fruit of the Spirit…the 3rd member of the trinity…God's fruit in a person's life brings out: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.

So…you add all that together that gives you a picture of what truly "Growing Kids God's Way" should look like.

If the fruit of your parenting is that your children feel love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…if your children are HAPPY...then truly the you ARE growing your kids "God's Way" because that's what the fruit says. That fruit identifies the tree you're growing.

If your children are angry…fighting…unhappy…impatient…unkind…mean…and lack self-control…this is supposed to be a sign to you. This is an indicator of what kinds of seeds you are planting in your children and the type of tree you're growing...and cutting off the fruit will not change the tree or its roots.

Some of the seeds we plant that result in the negative things are temporary. A temporary stress in your life can lead your kids to fight and be angry…so that's not what I mean. But, if your kids "are" sullen or depressed, if they seem to be drawn to dark, angry music and hang with a "bad crowd", or if they just always want to be off by themselves withdrawn from others and this is just 'how they are'…this is something that a parent should take seriously and try to do something about...but not by cutting off the fruit from that tree.

The biggest mistake I see parents make is they begin "planting seeds" in their children and everyone but them can see the fruit. Or, if they see the fruit they blame it on the kid, throw their hands in the air and say, "I just don't know what to do with them?" Worse yet, is when the parent does MORE of what led the child to display the bad fruit in the first place. "Or, they focus on taking those apples off the tree"...which is simply "deactivating God's built-in alarm".

You see it most with "authoritarian" parents who structure every part of their children's lives, often in "the name of godly parenting", will cinch down tighter on their controls as well as administering harsher punishments. (Essentially they get larger and sharper shears for trimming off those "apples" from their child's tree.)

Parents mostly seem to believe that if they can simply whack off the unwanted fruit that that will change the tree. They fail to see the obvious that God built into Creation for us to see. Romans 1, Creation tells us, the fruit simply reveals the truth about the tree...the same way a smoke detector tells you there is smoke in the room and sounds an irritating alarm. And, you can cut every apple off of that tree and it would still be an apple tree. You can hang oranges all over an apple tree and it is still…and apple tree.

So, you can control your kids "fruits" (behavior) with threats and spankings and force them to repress their "fruits" and you can even get them to "hang oranges" (engage in approved behaviors) on their trees but…changing the fruits does nothing but change the fruits.

Focusing on the fruit…on your children's behavior…misses the point. Focusing on attempting to "hang other fruit" on that tree that did not naturally grow there...that fruit will rot. And, focusing on repressing your child's fruits with punishments just like taking the battery out of a smoke detector to get rid of the irritating alarm...there is still a fire. And, where there is smoke...there is fire. And, where there is bad fruit...there is a tree with deep roots that is producing that fruit.

This is why parents marvel at how they can "raise their kids up right"…and have these "well-behaved kids" when they're little (and still being spanked) and yet when those kids become teens and young adults how they "rebel". They're not "rebelling". They're simply able to produce the fruit that is in them and has been in them the whole time…

If you want your children to produce good fruit…Creation shows us that trees produce fruit after their own kind. Therefore, you need to treat your children with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…because "the apple don't fall far from the tree"...

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