Are You Raising Cultivated Souls?

Ephesians 6:4; And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Wouldn’t it be so much easier if our children were little seeds that we stick in the dirt in our green house. We could walk down the aisle, peel dead leaves off, fertilize, and fix the wobbly ones, then be about our day. At the end of the season we’d have strong, tall, fruit-bearing plants, ready to harvest. Paint that picture in your heart Moms and Dads (Grandpas and Grandmas) because that’s exactly what we do. Of course, there’s much more work than that. When they are small we start to see potential budding fruit on the ends of the plants. Just like when your two-year old hugs and kisses everyone in their life. Or your twelve-year-old opens the door for you.

Tomatoes start out as flowers then turn to green tiny bumps. But soon they grow plump, round, and red. As a gardener if you saw bugs on that beautiful fruit you’d need to correct the situation fast. You might lose some of the fruit but you’re goal is to save the entire plant. Boy-oh-boy are you are going to love this verse!

Let’s start with the words; “provoke to wrath”. They are the Greek word is parorgizō, meaning to rouse to wrath, to provoke, exasperate, anger.

What could do that to your kids?

Head games, such as;

  • Manipulation
  • Suspicion or mistrust
  • Over protectiveness
  • Lying to them
  • Pitting them against the spouse in battles
  • Not disciplining them when they need it
  • Giving-in to tantrums
  • Idol worship (putting other things, people or events above God)
  • Etc.

These games are motivated by selfishness on the parents part and teach selfishness to the children. Where do you think kids learn these things? Us! Yikes.. huh. Half the time we don’t know we’re doing it because that’s how we were raised. As you’ll see in a moment raising kids is mental push ups for them and you.

Instead We Cultivate the Soul

Here is the Greek for Nurture. Paideia meaning;

The whole training and education of children (which relates to the cultivation of mind and morals, and employs for this purpose now commands and admonitions, now reproof and punishment) It also includes the training and care of the body.  Correcting mistakes and curbing passions. Instruction which aims at increasing virtue, chastisement, chastening

Here are some verses:

Hebrews 12:5; And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

Hebrews 12:7; If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

Hebrews 12:11; Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

1 Timothy 3:16-17; All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Pruning the Organ of Mental Perception

Admonition the Greek word Nouthesia coming from 2 Greek derivatives.

1) Nous a noun meaning mind, understanding, judging. It is the organ of mental perception. Here are two verses it’s listed in.

Romans 12:2;And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Ephesians 4:23; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

2) Tithēmi a verb meaning to set, fix establish, to set forth. It is used 96 times in various “to make,” or “to set,” or “to appoint” ways.

1 John 3:16; Hereby perceive we the love [of God](agape), because he (Jesus Christ) laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.

1 Corinthians 12:18; But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

Admonition is bigger than just yelling at your kids, it’s a purpose-filled walk that helps them establish their walk in the Lord. Parents give their children training in the 5 basics, renewing the mind, thinking the Word, and doing God’s will. We show them, through the positive reinforcement of God’s promises, how to see the abundant life manifested in our own lives. We train vs. teach them. Someone training you will stay beside you and correct the error until you get it right. Someone who teaches you will only teach you and leave you to figure it out.

Proverbs 22:6; Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Do you see how big that verse is? Wow! It’s a blessing to see it unfold and see the richness of God’s love for us and our children. There is an ideal way to raise your kids. Go to God get the book on yours. Find out everything about their likes, dislikes, and how God would discipline them. God is the greatest parent. There’s no way to go wrong by asking the Master Gardener Himself.

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