So what does this tree have to do with our families and legacies? Well, it is all about roots. The family tree has a root system, which is our virtues, a frame which is our values and the leaves and fruit which is the fruit of our faith. A tree will wither and die without a strong root system.
Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
If we are to have a lasting effect on our families and particularly our children, we need to be conscious of the root system we have or have not built up for our children and grandchildren. The roots of a tree:
- Take a long time to grow. It takes years for a tree to reach maturity and solidity. It takes patience and endurance and loving care.
- Roots grow unseen. Most of the virtues that you pass on to your children are about your example, consistency, and persistence. They look at your actions more than your words. It is never too late to begin this example and with prayer, to hope that the children see the unseen.
- Require an enormous amount of constant moisture. I don’t think you can communicate your virtues and God-centered life to you family and then walk away. I believe it takes constant examples, a lot of teaching, and a lot of family gatherings to make it stick and even then as you grow older, the wisdom of how to get through the challenges of life while trusting the Lord.
There are three approaches to God;
- Just about Jesus (gospelism)
- Jesus Plus (legalism)
- Jesus Minus (spiritualism)
I know that I made up a word for our lives being about only Jesus. Religion is not about the externals, but about the internals of our faith (root system). Whenever you wander from that, you create a religion your children will question and deny, and rightfully so. As a result, the pressure is firmly on our shoulders to make it right. So in terms of a tree’s root system what do we need to do?
- We desperately need good soil. We need to read our Bible every day. We need the wisdom of God’s word to help us know what God promises and directs in our lives.
- We need plenty of water. Prayer time each day is not optional. I don’t know what I would do if I did not spend at least a half an hour each day praying and reading my Bible. It prepares me for the day with the right mental construct.
- All trees need light to help grow their root system. We all need other believers to help us grow and mature and to make us accountable.
- You can’t microwave your Christianity. It just takes time to mature, understand and make Jesus a part of your every fiber. You need to eat, sleep and walk with Jesus and that takes time for it to become natural and a part of your very breathing. Only then will you overflow with thankfulness and a humble heart.
It is time for all of us to build strong root systems in our families and to make that root system deep and healthy. It is time to let your life be built solidly on Jesus.
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