Parenting Seasons

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season… ESV Psalm 1:3

In our hurried culture, everything turns on seconds. Last second plays in sports, online filing deadlines, viral videos, the 24 hour news cycle. However, in God’s grand scheme, things move more slowly. In agriculture, planting doesn’t have to be done at an exact second, but it does have to be done within a few weeks or so. In parenting, rarely does a lesson have to be taught at an exact age (kids don’t have to be potty trained exactly on their second birthday), but they do have to learn things within a particular time (they are generally potty trained by kindergarten). In relationships, we often don’t have to have certain conversations right now, but we do need to have them within the near future. God seems to have designed seasons of our lives in which to act.

This idea of seasons relieves stress yet keeps us on task. It relieves the stress of having to be the perfect parent at every moment. We miss opportunities to have a key conversation or to enforce a needed discipline. We must, however, stay on task and realize we need to get it done in this particular season. As parents, we may not be able to have a particular conversation today, but if we make it a matter of prayer and look for opportunities, we can have the conversation in this season. We must prayerfully consider what season our children are in. What conversations, discipline, lessons, etc. need to be had during this time in their lives? Is it time to teach obedience? Sex? Dating? Career choices? Aspects of their spiritual life? Seize the season and embrace the lessons of this time.

If we sow in season, we will reap in season. We invest, train, discipline and teach in one season, and if we do these things well, we get to reap the rewards in a future season. Again, there is rarely a certain day that it all comes to fruition, but there are seasons where we enjoy the fruits of our labor as parents. The kids are respectful, they navigate relationships well, they are potty trained, they land their first job. I hope this encourages you to seize whatever season of parenting you are in. May God ensure we bring forth fruit in season.

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