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Sowing And Reaping In Our Children’s Lives

By D. L. Moody (1837 – 1899)

    Parent, what seed are you sowing in your family?  Are you setting your children a good or a bad example?  Are you training them for God and righteousness?

    The story is told that a man once said he would not talk to his son about religion; the boy should make his own choice when he grew up, without being influenced by him.  The boy broke his arm, and when the doctor was setting it, the boy cursed and swore the whole time.

    “Ah,” said the doctor to the father, “you were afraid to influence the boy in the right way; but the devil had no such fear.  He has led your son the other way.”  The idea that a father is to let his children run wild!  Nature alone never brings forth anything but weeds.

    A poet’s friend once objected to prejudicing the minds of the young by selecting the things they should be taught.  The poet invited him to take a look at his garden, and took him to where a luxuriant growth of ugly and infragrant weeds spread themselves over beds and walks alike.

    “You do not call that a garden!” said his friend.

    “What!” said the poet, “would you have me prejudice the ground in favor of roses and lilies?”

    Have you never noticed the same thing about the mind and the heart?  Let a child be idle, and Satan will soon lead him into mischief.  He must be looked after.  Those things that will help to develop character must be selected for him; and hurtful things must be kept out just as industriously as the farmer cultivates the useful products of the soil, but wages continual war on weeds and all unwholesome growths.

    A father started for his office early one morning, after a light fall of snow.  Turning, he saw his two-year-old boy endeavoring to put his tiny feet in his own footprints.  The little fellow called after him, “Go on, I’se comin’, papa; I’se comin’ yight in ure tracks.”

    He caught the boy in his arms and carried him to his mother, and started again for his office.

    The father’s habit had been to stop at a bar for a glass of liquor.  As he stood upon the threshold that morning he seemed to hear a sweet voice say:  “Go on, I’se comin’, papa; I’se comin’ yight in ure tracks.”

    He stopped, he hesitated, he looked the future squarely in the face.  “I cannot afford to make any tracks I would be ashamed or sorry to have my boy walk in,” he said decidedly, and turned away.

    Father, mother, are your tracks true?  Are they straight?  Can you turn to any walking behind you and say:  “Follow me, as I follow Christ”?  Are you leading the little ones safe to the Great Shepherd?

    The best time to sow the good seed is before Satan has scattered the tares.  God has given numerous warnings and instructions to do it. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness...” (Matt. 6:33). “...Train up a child in the way he should go” (Prov. 22:6). “...Provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).  If a farmer neglects to plant in the springtime, he can never recover the lost opportunity; no more can you, if you neglect yours.  Youth is a seed time; and if it is allowed to pass without good seed being sowed, weeds will spring up and choke the soil.  It will take bitter toil to uproot them.

    When a good farmer sees a weed in his field he has it pulled up.  If it is taken early enough, the blank is soon filled in, and the crop waves over the whole field.  But if allowed to grow too long, the bald patch remains when it is pulled.  It would have been better if the weed had never been allowed to get root.