My grandpa used to have a saying that Christians weren’t supposed to judge, but we were all supposed to be “fruit inspectors.”
I imagine this comes from Matthew 7:16-20:
“You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.”
This excerpt is taken from the Sermon on the Mount section of Matthew. He went up on a mountain and preached to His disciples about the law, emotions, human behavior, charity, prayer, and judgement. Early in His ministry, Jesus laid out a great foundation for his followers all about Christian living. He said plainly when talking about false teachers: you will know them by their fruit. This is true for every person you interact with, even your children.
Parenting in 2021
Parenting in 2021 is difficult. With the general laziness of our kids, the internet, video games, electronic devices, and more, it can be almost impossible to be the loudest voice in their life.
I have a lot of concerns for my sons. I worry about their online safety and the content they see. I have reservations about many things they absorb and people they interact with. I worry about raising boys in a very anti-masculine climate.
I became a mom in 2009, almost 12 years ago, but the job never gets easier. In fact, it gets more difficult.
What Parents Worry About
As children go back to school, there are even more worries to consider. We homeschool our sons, and I still worry about a lot of things that other parents do.
According to a study of 2,000 parents conducted by OnePoll, there are 10 parental worries that reign.
The parents polled remarked their biggest worries are that their children…
- are safe
- are happy
- will not be bullied
- will keep up in class
- will get good grades
- will fit in
- will eat okay
- will enjoy their childhood
- will make friends
- will not come home with lice
I share these worries with these parents polled in 2018. Unfortunately, the world is vastly different than it was in 2018. Now we have new and popular social media apps and COVID-19 to deal with.
I worry that my boys are proud to be boys and that they tell me what makes them proud and what makes them feel shame. I worry that they are happy and also that they’re unhappy and whether or not they can manage these feelings properly. I worry about their spiritual health and their relationship with Jesus. I worry about them being good men.
It’s times when I’m worried about my sons and how they turn out that I look at promises from The Bible.
In Matthew 6 Jesus says, “Therefore do not be anxious about your life…” (v. 25). and he says, “do not be anxious about tomorrow…” (v. 34).
You shall know them by their fruit…
The fact is we worry as parents because we were kids once and we know exactly why we worried our parents!
There was plenty in our lives that we never told our parents and there will be plenty our children don’t tell us, but we will know them by their fruit.
If you’re concerned about what your children are thinking or doing, look at what they produce.
If you’re concerned they’re making good friends, look at what kind of friend he or she is.
If you’re worried they aren’t using their brain and obsessed with electronics, look at how creative they are.
If you don’t think they’re interested in Godly things, listen to their prayers.
If you’re worried they aren’t talking to you, listen. They communicate in the things they produce.