Posted by: ramonamom | April 24, 2008

Renegade in Rocky Soil

Renegade in Rocky Soil

 Our pastor taught on the Parable of the Soils this past Sunday (Matthew 13:3-9), which brought to mind this little pansy in our driveway.  Somehow a seed had fallen from the pansies which I planted and grown into a flower, from the limited sustenance provided in the crack of the concrete.  “Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil,” Matt. 13:5.  In this parable, the heart (soil) which the seed (Gospel) falls upon initially embraces the truth of the message, but when trouble (sun, wind, drought) comes, the seed will be exposed for what is underneath – roots without depth.

As parents, we are eager to see our children repent of their sins and profess faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  For many (including ourselves), this is actually the ultimate goal of our parenting.  It is undeniable that most children who are adopted at an older age are master manipulators, though, and we can find ourselves wondering if a profession of faith entered into easily is genuine.  If, like the seed planted on rocky ground, their faith dies when trouble comes along, it was not well rooted in the beginning. 

In his book, _Your Child’s Profession of Faith_, Dennis Gundersen comes alongside parents as they wonder if their child’s profession of faith is well rooted or not.  On page 7, he writes,

“You wonder if she really understands the gospel.  You feel that for you to let any of your doubts show might be “hindering the little ones from coming to Him”!  Yet you can’t help but wonder if, by not exercising some caution, she might be deceived as millions are!  What will you do?

The difficulties are not imagined but real; to face this is honest and wise.  My foremost hope is to help the reader by shedding light on the complex issues that arise when a young child professes to have trusted in Christ, and to move each of us to more fervent efforts to lead our children to Him!  But we should be careful to recognize that an essential part of that work is to guard them from deception.”

A friend recently told me a story about her sister, who is now a strong Christian young woman.  As a teenager, this girl became involved in drugs, even under the watchful eyes of her Christian parents.  Once they discovered this, they acted quickly to remove her from any possible contact with the friends involved and placed her in a rehabilitation program.  Having been raised in a Christian home, she knew what her parents “wanted” out of her, so when she was released and returned home, she quickly declared that she had become a Christian.  Her parents were eager to rejoice, understandably, and a large celebration was enjoyed by many friends and family member. 

Over the next few months, however, it slowly became apparent that her faith was not well rooted, but the seed had landed on rocky soil.  The behavioral changes were self imposed, rather than by the grace of God, and once she wearied of trying so hard to be “good”, she began to return to her old habits.  One by one, they returned with a vengenance, much like the demon who had been cast out and later returned with seven of his friends (Matt. 12:43-44).  As our pastor said when teaching this parable, “It is not enough to clean the house – you need to invite the right tenant.  There must be regeneration.”

This young woman is now truly a believer in Christ, with the days of deception far behind her.  She was born and raised in the United States, in a loving and Christian family.  If this can happen with such a child as this, how much more likely is it to happen with a child who is adopted at an older age, having learned manipulative survival techniques over the years?  The answer to that should be obvious. 

Should we then throw up our hands in despair, with no hope of ever reaching our child with the Gospel?  Certainly not!  We should be faithful to teach them and train them in the ways in which they should go, on a daily basis.  As the sowers, we plant the seed and pray for God to prepare the soil.  If the seed sprouts and soon dries up and blows away, then we should plant the seed again – as many times as necessary. 

I can tell you from personal experience, that a child adopted at an older age can be changed by God’s grace.  One who came to us at the age of 14 as a screaming tyrant is now a new person.  She is not perfect, of course, but walking along the path of sanctification, as are her parents.  When she falls into various sins and we are tempted to wonder if her seed is indeed firmly rooted, we can easily recall the hours she spent cursing us and God, and all doubts are erased as we see the changes in her. 

Parents, don’t give up!  Keep running the race and sowing the seed and pray for God to prepare the hearts of your children for His kingdom. 

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Responses

  1. Amen! That is so true!


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