As the term comes to a close I just wanted to leave you with a message which I shared with our fathers at the Father’s Day Chapel last week (photo gallery below). I hope it is an encouragement to everyone who reads the primary section of the newsletter this week and blesses you as you fulfil the greatest role in life –parenting.
The Story of the Chinese Bamboo Plant.
The Chinese Bamboo plant starts from a tiny seed. You plant the seed in the dirt and you water the seed. Very little seems to happen in the first year. Despite your efforts, only a tiny shoot pokes out of the ground.
So the second year you water, fertilize and protect the seed – but nothing happens. In the third year you water and fertilize and protect the seed – but still nothing happens. So, in the fourth year you continue to water and fertilize and protect the seed but there is no evidence of any growth. But finally, during the fifth year, the Chinese Bamboo plant begins to grow 30 metres tall in just six weeks! The question is, did it grow 30 metres in six weeks or in five years? The answer of course is that it grew 30 metres in five years. It took five years to develop the root system which would one day support a 30 metre plant.
Our children are somewhat like the Chinese Bamboo plant. We spend years and years guiding and discipling our sons and daughters to help mould them into well adjusted, strong courteous young people and at times – nothing seems to be happening. We speak into their lives and sometimes get discouraged and feel like we’re not getting anywhere. We may even be tempted to give up. Don’t do it! If you give up, the seeds you have planted will die. But if you are patient and continue to nurture the seeds, one day when you least expect it, the results of your labour, care and devotion will become evident – even before your very eyes!
If the Chinese Bamboo immediately shot up 30 metres in the first year, one strong wind would blow it down. By growing deep before it grows tall, it gains the strength it needs to withstand the force of strong winds. Similarly, lasting growth starts on the inside of our children. It is often difficult to see that change is taking place but this is a necessary process – and it is all happening below the surface! God’s Word has a great deal to say about parents and children. “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it” Proverbs 22:6.
A baby and toddler watches and takes in a great deal from his family; and then come the primary years where our children are like little sponges. This is a real time of growth where they will challenge and wait for strong caring nurturing parents to guide and correct – and as this happens the root structure goes deeper.
Then before you know it, the teenage years come around and all that nurturing, watering and fertilising brings forth a young person who has tight family bonds, close relationships with you his parents, good character and a strong moral compass to guide them through life. They can discern right from wrong (because you have taught them this) and are able to make good choices. As you look around today, we can see many young people who seem to have lost their moral compass. What a tragedy it is when the media and reality TV shows become their guide because they have no personal moral compass instilled in them by loving parents over many years of watering, fertilizing and protecting that little seed.
So parents you are in this watering, fertilizing, nurturing stage with your primary aged children. Hold the line and in a number of years, just stand back and watch them shoot up tall and strong because of their deep roots; and you will rejoice in the fact that you can enjoy their company through the teenage years. They will turn to you for guidance as they face the challenges which will certainly come their way, because they will have confidence based on the many years previously when you have spent the time developing that strong foundation. They will know that you can be trusted to be a sounding board or give them wise counsel when they need it.
May the next two weeks be a time of great refreshing for you and your family as you enjoy your time together May God keep you safe as you travel or contented as you simply enjoy staying at home.
Blessings, Cheryl Bryers, Head of Primary