So...how shall I say this...I do not have docile children.
I have a "spirited son" and a "determined daughter."
As a teacher I've gotten to know a lot of personalities and I always singled out the super-compliant, mild-mannered ones and said, "I hope I have a son just like him" or "I hope my little girl is just like her."
It didn't go that way.
Because mixed in with the joy and fun of raising up these two little ones has been a heck of a lot of hustle. Battles. Prayers. Redirections. Even tears (mine, y'all).
One day about a year ago I found myself worn. the. heck. out. Because to know me well means to know I am very long-term minded when it comes to my children, even praying often for their future spouses and for their children and grandchildren. My descendants, beginning with Trev and Liley, are prayed up, and I want them marinating in truth. So if I was doing something I believed really mattered, then why wasn't I seeing much evidence that what I was doing mattered at all? I found myself crying out to God for some encouragement. And I heard the words,
"You're going to have to fight for the fruit."
Fight for the fruit. Those words have stayed with me this past year and have given me so much encouragement--but also preparation for the road that awaits. Because what this word told me was:
1. I've got a fight ahead. This is a battle and I need to be on my knees on behalf of my children. I need to arm them with the Word of God and declare who they are in Christ and who God is in each of their lives. Because every bit as much as there is a God who fashioned my son and daughter in His likeness, there is one who seeks harm and an end for this legacy, and we battle against the one who seeks to steal, kill and destroy. You can bet that's a battle I am going to fight!
2. There will be fruit. Hallelujah, there WILL be fruit! Fruit from the conversations about consideration. Fruit from all those Bible stories read. Fruit from the warnings and words of blessing. Fruit from ALL those 3am prayers I have spoken over my children as they sleep. Fruit sprouted from lives steeped in truth!
I am blessed to have that precious, spirited boy and that steadfast, determined little girl. God made them with great intention and purpose, and He will undoubtedly use their passion and tenacity for His glory. They are worth the fight, because we will YET see the fruit that is to come from their God-established lives.
But you know what? I'm seeing some of that fruit even now.
Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Lifting up those who too are fighting for the fruit!