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Raising Christian Children the Snow Pea Way
Not For Sale
There comes a time in most adults’ lives where they have to raise a child, train them and watch them grow up. There are many similarities in this situation as with growing snow peas. Snow peas are a beautiful trailing plant with delicate flowers. With the right nurture, the plants produce a wonderful crop. The pea pods are thin and crisp and are a delicious vegetable to eat.
Snow peas require a trellis of some sort, a framework with which to guide them as they grow. So too, we have a framework for raising Christian children. It might be through careful teaching, ensuring children attend church regularly, and become involved in a strong faith-building group such as Pathfinders. We expect that these will guide and support the child to be strong, bold and grace-filled Christians. Take heed, and see the parable of the snow pea.
For our snow pea trellis, we use double rows of twine that support both sides of the plant. The first row is about 10cm from the ground; the next row about 30cm and spaced about 20cm higher still as the plant grows. Getting the plants to grow upwards is the first challenge as we put up the lowest row of twine. Some plants are bent over on the ground; some are already entangled with other plants beside them. We gently lift the snow peas up to rest their leaves upon the twine. If we pull too hard, they will snap. If we leave them on the ground, they will never reach their full potential. Those plants that have grown into a bent position must be gradually trained to grow straight and tall. All plants grow at different rates and we must go back to the smaller plants when they are ready to join the trellis.
Those that are entangled heavily with a mass of other plants must be carefully managed. Sometimes the whole group can be lifted to reach the trellis whereas trying to separate the plants can do more harm than good. Some plants thrive on their own; others enjoy being in a crowd.
It is amazing how the plants have a natural instinct to seek out the sun. Even the ones lying prostrate still send up shoots towards the sun. We appreciate the gifts of God that do their work even when our work is done – the sun, and the rain. How we need the Son and the living water!
Sometimes a plant will surprise us. It may have been neglected and lived a stunted life, yet produces wonderful snow peas. Other plants escape our well-planned framework and manage to find a support somewhere and reach great height through their own doing. It doesn’t matter. A snow pea is still a snow pea. ‘By their fruits you shall know them.’
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