Ephesians 3:17 I pray that Christ will live in your hearts because of your faith. I pray that your life will be strong in love and be built on love (ICB).
Any gardener knows a plant is only as strong as its roots. If the roots are shallow and sparse, the plant won’t thrive and will soon droop and die. Conversely a plant with a deep and extensive root system will flourish despite the conditions around it.
As the wife of a military officer I often find myself concerned about establishing roots each time we relocate. Questions concerning potential neighborhoods, churches, schools and friends fill my mind before every move because I think the faster we get established the more confident the kids will be. As it turns out, the answers to those questions have been the most fluctuating of all that’s involved in frequent moving! It’s been an area of personal frustration for me because as wife and mother, I put a lot of thought and effort into making our transitions as smooth as possible.
Maybe you’re not a military spouse, but as a parent you want your children to be confident and flourish. What are you rooting them in? Is it the “right” school, the best organizations or social networks, or maybe sports to build their self-esteem. We spend so much time trying to root our children in groups and activities that don’t quite produce the outcome we hope. There are many children, and adults for that matter, who are “connected” in every way you can imagine and still feel empty and unsure on the inside.
One morning while sharing Ephesians 3 with the kids the wording of a particular phrase (in their International Children’s Bible) caught my attention: “that your life will be strong in love and be built on love”. For the first time I saw that the key to stability amidst all the inevitable change of life is to be strongly rooted in Christ’s love and to build your life on that unchanging truth. Houses change, jobs change, schools change, friends change because everything in this world changes but His love for us, demonstrated at the cross (1 John 4:10), will never change and He will never take it back!
Our children flourish when we unveil the Lord’s love for them in the Scriptures. Just as plants use their roots to draw up needed nutrients and to establish their position, our children need to know the Lord loves them and to meditate on Scriptures revealing the scope of His love (Ephesians 3:18, 19) so that during the winds of change their identity remains firm and fixed.
Neighborhoods, schools, friends, and activities all have their place in adding joy to life, but the abundant life Jesus came to give us is grounded in faith in Christ’s limitless, unchanging love.
© Vanessa A. Harris and The Legacy of Faith, 2011