I grew up on a farm in Ohio, and weeding is a natural part of life for me. In city landscaping, underground plastic barriers are buried to keep weeds down. But those plastic tarps are seldom foolproof. That’s why we never bothered with the things. We just expected weeding as a part of life.
If you don’t move in circles of agriculture, you probably think weeding is no big deal. Anybody can do it. You just pull the weeds and toss them, right?
Believe it or not, there is a right way to weed. Those of us who garden for a living understand the importance of weeding correctly. Some plants like dollarweed have “runners” that grow underground, and many little single plants spring up from these underground root “highways.” If a gardener pulls out the plant but leaves the runner, the sprouts will grow right back.
A good gardener knows that if he breaks any plant off at ground level, the root is still in the ground and will grow into a weed again. But if he reaches a little deeper and pulls a little more carefully, the whole plant comes up, and it can’t grow back, which makes less work for the gardener later.
We have to “weed” our lives in the same way. The surface issues can’t just be plucked off so they don’t show. If we don’t get at the root of the problem, it will come back again and again. If a man has dirty magazines we can take them away, but his addiction to objectified women will return. if we don’t address the issues with real people that feed his desire to look in the first place. We can take away our daughters’ immodest clothes, but if we don’t figure out why she needs attention, she’ll just roll up the waistband of her skirt. If we don’t counsel an addict to address the pain they want to numb, they will more than likely return to their habit.
No matter the sin problem, we have to get to the root of it. Taking the time to seek out the root and be sensitive to actual needs will strengthen relationships and pave paths for change and lasting freedom. The time it takes is worth it. Who wants the same problem to return over
If you feel like your family is a little like an overgrown garden, take the time to weed correctly by asking these questions:
• What kind of weed (sin) is it?
• What is the root?
• How can I gently and firmly “tug” to get the root out of the ground?
We all have a Gardener who is at our disposal anytime to help in the weeding process. If we’re willing to assess our gardens honestly, He will be faithful to draw our attention to the weeds, and be with us in the pain as the roots are pulled up. God wants our beautifully flowered lives to be a planting for the display of His splendor (Is. 61:3). Let Him help you with the weeding in you and your family today.