AVOIDING A BITTER HARVEST

Have you ever heard of the ‘Law of the Harvest’?

It simply says: You reap what you sow. This truth has hit home lately having observed it in the lives of a couple whom I’ll call Robert and Ruth.

Robert and Ruth have worked hard all their lives. They both enjoyed their careers and were considered by many to be good workers, having given all their time and energy to their jobs. Their five children, far from being an asset, were more or less considered a hindrance – an intrusion in their ambitious race.

Quite frankly, Robert and Ruth enjoyed their jobs and career challenges far more than raising children.

Children can be so easily hurt
At first it hurt the children that their parents were never around, not even for special days, or for school or sports events but they soon got over it. The children learned to look after themselves, much to their parents’ relief.

They became used to their parents many trips away and endless meetings and learned to cope with the scant attention they got from their parents. They found other meaningful people in their lives to fill the void left by the parents.

The years have passed now, and Robert and Ruth are in their late 60’s.  Retirement has arrived and all their children are married and live their own lives. They now have no time for Robert and Ruth and rarely call or write. Any family gathering is usually a forced event, strained with tension and deep unresolved issues.

No one dares mention the past; there are no happy photo albums around.

No understanding
Robert and Ruth cannot understand their children’s apathy towards them, and they are angry and frustrated. They feel they deserve more attention and time from their children. Unfortunately, they didn’t think the law of the harvest applied to them.

They expect to find …

  • Love and acceptance where they sowed indifference and rejection
  • Admiration and tenderness (even demand such) where they planted only weeds of insensitivity
  • Reaping of a harvest that they didn’t sow!

The message ‘I have more important things to do than be with you’ spells rejection to a child. If the child hears it often enough feelings of worthlessness and resentment begin to grow, and love turns cold.

Sobering lesson
This bitter harvest has been a sobering lesson to learn.

Robert and Ruth make a sad pathetic couple today, all alone and dejected. It must be awful to reach the autumn of life and instead of finally being able to enjoy your children and their children you hear the same message being repeated back to you.

Dear friend, if you are still in the years of sowing into your children’s lives, be wise with what you sow. If we sow love and acceptance, tenderness and kindness, when our turn comes to reap we shall be very happy indeed that we took the time to sow good things.

The ‘law of the harvest’ is a rule of life, true in every aspect, there are no exceptions, and it will happen to all of us. The years go by so quickly, what are you sowing in your children today?

Children are precious

Reap a harvest!
And, being an ex-missionary, I naturally recall another sowing and harvesting law that mustn’t be neglected either.

Galatians 6:9 reminds followers of Jesus not to ‘… become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.’

Let’s sow love and kindness as Jesus expects to our neighbours as well as our children. This as the beginning of fulfilling the great commission command of Matthew 28: 18-20… sharing all that he has taught us in our local ‘Jerusalem.’

Then we can reach further afield by supporting encouraging and backing missionaries reaching their designated mission fields ‘all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world’ (Acts 1:8Mge).

All this we can do with the Holy Spirit’s help as that verse assures us.

‘Being there’ for our children is so important and avoid a bitter harvest. Fulfilling Proverbs 20:7 – ‘The righteous lead blameless lives; blessed are their children after them’ – ensures success. May we not neglect our neighbours and the unsaved either.

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Erica Grace is author of Foundations for the Family, a biblical teaching series suitable for whole congregations. She and her husband, Chris, are warmly welcomed itinerant ministers. Link: OnlinerConnect@gmail.com
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2 comments

  1. Hallelujah, well said and well written.
    It is also sad to see Christians wanting to connect and help people they don’t know while all the while neglecting the people they are close too, their families.
    This is the first area of our work, of love, compassion, patience. Everthing is useless and of no account if we neglect our family. Isn’t it a phony pretence to try and share the gospel with strangers when we are not prepared to live it out at home and with our loved ones.
    Is it difficult? Yes, Is it vital? Most definitely!
    Churches, O Churches wake up.

  2. Thanks Erica. As a parent and grandparent, while knowing we are not without imperfections, I am so grateful for the opportunity to have been able to ‘sow’ into young lives. I shared you article with some friends who (as believers) also spend quite a bit of their time ‘sowing’ into their grandchildren’s young lives, this includes bringing them to church (traditionally called Sunday school) sometimes it tests our physical reserves, but is a worthwhile investment and foundation.

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