I love gardening, but any of you who garden know that it is a time-consuming endeavor. As I have been digging in the dirt, much has come to mind concerning the training of little boys--and girls, for that matter. But since we are presently discussing little boys, we will apply our "flower counsel" to them.
Some flowers take much time and cultivation in order to grow into beautiful treasures of joy to the beholder. Roses love sunshine and epsom salts and deadheading. Sometimes they get black spot that has to be treated. My lantanas, once they are established, just go crazy and grow and grow. But they need tender loving care to begin with. Wildflowers, on the other hand, pop up whenever and wherever they want, leaving us to wonder how God could grace us sinful creatures with such beauty. Then there is the stubborn mondo grass that comes up and blooms with only God's assistance. Even when you think you have carefully pulled it all up it surprises you once again, giving you the undeniable sense that nothing can deter it.
So how are boys like flowers? We have already discussed the exhausting task of teaching line by line and precept by precept--over and over and over again. They too must be cultivated. Interestingly, they need lots of sunshine, too. Sometimes they may even need some epsom salts. I think it can be used as a laxative! (Don't quote me on that.) And deadheading? Well, sometimes they are deadheads and definitely need it trained out of them!
Seriously, it seems that some boys--very few of them, I have observed--are like the wildflowers or the often abused mondo grass. They just seem to grow up with an innate understanding of what to do and how to do it. Our "adopted" grandson Kevin is an example. He lives with his dad who works long hours, rarely sees his mom who lives in an altogether different country, and yet he is the ultimate gentleman. He pitches in to help anytime he is around. He takes the baby or the little ones and plays with them in order to relieve my daughter. His manners are impeccable. Kevin--a much appreciated but rare wildflower.
Some are like the lantana, which takes tender loving care as a new young plant, but once it is nourished it just takes off. What nice plants those are! A few short years of training those boys and you have a true gentleman. But don't get your hopes up yet!
Most, it seems, are more like the roses. They just take lots of care. Every year as they grow up, they need to be fertilized with the Truth and with encouragement to do what is right. They need the sunshine of love and the trimming back of discipleship. When the black spots of sin show up and they are acting like little jerks instead of little gentlemen, they need a treatment in discipline. Oh, but it's worth it! What a sweet smelling savor is a man who has been shone the tender love of a mother and father and grandparents who insist that he be a prize winning specimen.
Enough of my philosophizing today. May you be blessed beyond measure as you bring up those boys.
I'm linking up to:
A Southern Daydreamer