‘Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
The sowing mindset in parenting makes you to teach your children the necessity of sowing into the life of others. Really as a farmer, you cannot expect to reap if you have not sown. One great tragedy in the world today is that many individuals are striving to reap when they have not sown and it is leading to so many vices that the human society is battling with. Some of such vices are laziness, stealing and all forms of corruption. These vices are prevalent because we have many who does not seem to know that there is no free meal anywhere: whenever it appears as if you are getting something free, there is someone somewhere who had earlier sowed. There are three vital areas of sowing which your child must learn.
• You must sow spiritually to God and in the life of others. Sowing spiritually unto God means spending time to fellowship with God towards the development of an intimate relationship. Sowing spiritually into the lives of others means that the spiritual welfare of others is important to you. Teach your children to remember others in their own prayers as it is a way of sowing into the lives of others.
• You must sow materially to God and into the life of others. Sowing materially unto God is all about being ready to commit your resources to the advancement of the gospel. The starting point of being ready to sow materially into kingdom matters is the faithful payment of your tithe, your bountiful offerings and commitment to kingdom projects.
But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
There is also the need to sow materially into the life of others especially widows, orphans and generally the needy around us.
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
For instance, if you have a maid who will serve you for a fairly long time, you may sow into her life by enrolling her in a school or making her to learn a trade which will make her to be useful for herself in the future. What you have sowed into such life will attract rich harvest later probably not from only just from that maid but in other people helping your own children somewhere along the journey of their lives when such help will be needed.
• You must sow time in service to God and others. How much of your time can you spend for God and for others. The mindset of reaping from sowing will make you to let your children know that their time is not only for them. They must be taught that they should invest a considerable percentage of their time in service to God and others. Many Christians will come to church only on Sundays, and even then never punctually. Apart from that, they are not ready to sacrifice their time for Bible study, prayers, evangelism and other church assignments. They are also not available for visitation. Even if the nature of your work will not allow you to take part in assignments during the week, what of when you are on leave?
• You must sow your talent to God and others.
You must let them know through your own demonstration that they need to often sow their talent by using it without expecting to be remunerated. Any talent which you use freely for the expansion of God’s kingdom is bound to become more impactful.
SEVEN FACTS YOU MUST TEACH YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT SOWING AND REAPING.
• Sowing is not usually easy.
Everyone wants to reap but only few are ready to sow because it is not easy to part with your hard earned money, sacrifice your time or make use of your talent freely. However this mindset makes you to teach your children that every farmer goes through some hard work in the process of sowing. A farmer who refuses to sow when others are sowing will have himself to blame because there will be nothing for such a farmer to reap.
• Often, people you sow into their lives may not be the ones to pay back.
It is important to let your children know that they should not expect those they sow into their lives to pay back. Often, people you sow into their lives will be ungrateful to you later, but that should not prevent you from sowing into other people’s lives. Many of the people you sow into their lives will definitely be grateful and will want to pay back in the future but you should not be disappointed if you discover that some of them will actually become antagonistic
towards you. This reality must not prevent you from sowing into the lives of others.
• You will harvest in the order of the seed you sow.
Let your children know that whatsoever you sow is what you will reap. If while you were young, you get yourself involved in activities that make others to cry, your days of crying are definitely coming.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.(Gal.6:7-9)
This is a spiritual law that is constant. Of recent, I started noticing something; everyone of those I knew to belong to a cult or other violent groups while they were younger, something went wrong with their lives by the time they grew up; one of them was gunned down during his wedding ceremony, several others never had unsettled homes, many never seem to be able to hold on to a job, several died suddenly at the hand of rival could groups etc. Somehow, they reaped what they had earlier sown in life. The law of sowing and reaping is a reality of life which you will be doing your children a lot of good by pointing them to.
• Reaping is often intangible.
Let them know that what one fact that makes many people not to sow is that reaping is often intangible. When you are sowing, you feel it but you don’t really know immediately when you start reaping. It is often later that you will realize or it may even be another person who has insight that will point your attention to the fact that the favour you are experiencing is the harvest of what you had earlier sown into the lives of others. In other words, the nature of reaping may not necessarily be physical, it may not something to be held physically but it is real.
• Often, sowing appears stupid due to easier alternatives.
I remember the time I was about to go to the university, I was already a draughtsman making some money from drawing building plans. My colleagues then were wondering why I would go and spend several years in the university when I could easily be making more money by continuing with my trade. To them, it was a foolish decision but I stuck to my guns and to the glory of God, I later overtook all of them later on in life. You must let your children know that the time of sowing is often time that others will see as being foolishly spent but if you are persistent, the time of reaping will come and those who felt that you were wasting time will see the testimony of reaping in your life.
If you are paying tithe unto God, there are very likely other people who are believers that will make you to feel stupid doing it.
• You will actually lose something by sowing, but the harvest will be greater.
Just as the crops harvested can not be compared with the seed sown, what you harvest through sowing cannot be compared with what you have lost while sowing.
• Reaping what you sow actually transcends your own generation.
In a way that no one actually understand how it happens, I’ve discovered that whatever you sow may be reaped not by you only but by your children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren.
…for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;(Ex.20:5)
When you remember that the fruit of what you are sowing today will be reaped beyond your generation, you are very likely to sow seeds that it’s fruit will benefit your children and also admonish your children to do likewise.
• There is appointed time for sowing and reaping.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;…
Every farmer knows that there is a right time to sow, if you fail to sow at that time, you will suffer lack in the future. If you don’t sow at appointed time, there will be a similarity between you and the one who did not sow at all. You must teach your children that they must invest their time, talent and treasure at the right time. If you finish your secondary education with good grades but get attracted to a job that appears to be paying well instead of pursuing your higher education; or get married prematurely because you were lured into it, a time will come in the future when you will realize that the best time to pursue higher education is when you are young. By the time it dawns on you that there is a place for education which money cannot fill, it may be too late to acquire education at that time.
Another way of looking at it is that your children must be made to realize that there is season of reaping in the life of everyone. If for instance you are working with someone who is at the reaping phase of his life, don’t be envious of that person. If you are envious, it may discourage you from sowing towards your own future harvest. When you are serving a master that is prosperous, don’t out of envy refuse to continue serving, your service to such man who is in his season of reaping is just your own sowing, not just towards the reaping of that man but into your own future season of reaping.
Dr. Mike Oluniyi.