Everything would seem to be going along just fine and according to your plan until...
When that tree bore fruit...you'd realize your mistake, right?
Now, imagine you're talking to the person who planted this tree...as you stand before that tree in their yard with the bright shiny apples hanging on it and they say, "This is just so weird because...it's actually a cherry tree!"
Would you even know how to respond to someone who'd say that? Wouldn't you just look at them and wonder what they're on? What kind of brain damage they might have?
Now, imagine the person who planted the tree says, "I know what I'll do to fix this! I'll...climb up there and pull all those apples off! Then! Then it will cease to be an apple tree! And, I can just attach some cherries to it! Yes! That's how I'll change this apple tree into a cherry tree!"
In Genesis we're told right away that things reproduce after their own kind and Jesus says that even with people..."You shall know them by their fruit..." The fruit doesn't make the tree, it simply identifies it...
When Jesus said we would know people by their fruits...what was He talking about? What are our human version of "fruits"?
Our behavior...isn't the problem. Our behavior doesn't make us who we are...it identifies what's inside us. It shows the world what's in us what really makes us who we are.
Most "Christian" child rearing manuals focus on controlling the child's behavior...or fruit. Undesirable fruit is cut off (with spankings and punishments and threats of those) and desirable fruit is forcefully attached. Then, parents stand back in confusion and wonder when undesirable fruit takes over the tree at adolescence.
When a child reaches adolescence, it's a common belief for Christians that children "rebel" as though that's a natural stage of development like crawling and walking, but it's not. If Jesus is telling the truth, you reap what you sow. The "rebellion" is the child's heart producing fruit that can no longer be repressed by threats, spankings, and punishments. The "rebellion" is fruit that's been there all along but been torn off by the parents, ignored, or replaced by more desirable fruit.
So, look at your kids and ask yourself what fruit you're seeing...that's the fruit of the seeds you've planted in them...
Parents who focus on threats, spanking, and punishments address the issue of negative fruits by "attempting to remove all the apples from the tree." Often, in the case of the "rebellious" adolescent, parents do this very aggressively, trying to tear off all the fruit they don't like and even forcing them to have "different fruit"...but it won't change their tree...
To get natural fruit that's the fruit you want to see...you must plant those...because Jesus said you reap what you sow...
So, you want children full of the fruits of the spirit? You must plant those kinds of seeds.
God is the one who wrote the Bible and created all these analogies/metaphors with nature to teach us and He said...you reap what you sow and plants bear seeds after their own kind.
How do you plant seeds and where do the seeds come from?
Do you...lecture the dirt?
Do you beat the dirt?
Do you threaten the dirt?
Do you deprive the dirt of things?
Then how do you plant seeds?
By getting your hands dirty...usually on your hands and knees...and being patient...
That means that to plant the seeds of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in your child...you must get your hands dirty with those things.
And...a gentle reminder to look to yourself is...since seeds bear seeds after their own kind...YOU must be the plant...that produces those seeds...
You cannot plant love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control with anger, frustration, upset, impatience, desire to punish, harshness, pain, and other-control.
If Jesus is telling the truth...you reap what you sow...so despising and fighting the fruit is...well...fruitless...
And, you tell me? Who would want you to use pain, fear, and other-control to raise your child (the way so many believe is the proper use of 'the rod')? Who would want to see you planting seeds of pain, fear, and everything that goes along with being hit by a parent? God? Or, that roaring lion who's prowling around seeking someone to devour?
Look at the log in your own eye because if you're planting seeds of pain, fear, and other-control...you are producing seeds after your kind...and rather than worrying about your child not displaying the fruits of the spirit, you need to ask yourself why you're not...
When the seeds you produce and plant are seeds of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control...then you'll begin to see different fruit in yourself and in your children...
Your children are watching you...
The world is watching you...
The world sees your fruit and the fruit in your children...
Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
2 Tim. 2:15
Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.
1 Tim. 4:16
But if you bear the name “Jew” (or Christian parent) and rely upon the Law (the rod) and boast in God, and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, a corrector of the foolish (able to judge, spank, and punish), a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth, you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself?
You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal?
You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery?
You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?
(You who teaches your children not to hit one another, do you hit?)
You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God?
(You who punish your children for being disobedient, do you drive the speed limit? Do you obey authority?)
For “THE NAME OF GOD IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES BECAUSE OF YOU,” just as it is written. (because the world sees your hypocrisy)