Matthew 13:24 – “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.”
I’m not a very good gardener, but over time I have learned a thing or two about weeds. I’ve learned they’re always going to try and impose themselves into my flower garden and I’ve learned the only way to prevent them is to not allow them to take root. We can’t prevent weeds from trying to invade our flower gardens, that’s what weeds do, but we can prevent them from taking root and taking over. That’s another thing weeds do; once established, they take over. They’re not satisfied until they are dominant over the flower. That’s why weeds and flowers can’t live together. For one to increase, the other must decrease. The thriving of one requires the demise of the other.
People are seeds. They are either good seeds or bad seeds. We should choose carefully who we allow into our lives and our children’s lives, because we are either allowing God’s seed or the devil’s seed to become part of it. The devil will try to sow his seed into the life of every child of God, because he wants to hinder the life of God’s seed from growing in them. He knows he can’t prevent wheat from being wheat, it is what it is, so all he can do is try to prevent it from growing and reaching its full potential. Jesus said, “While men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat.” When we sleep, we are in a state of unawareness. That’s the devil’s opportune time for sowing, because when we are unaware, we are unprepared. Parents need to keep a constant vigil over who their children are becoming attached to throughout their lives, especially intimately attached to, because any good gardener knows it is easier to get rid of a weed that has just begun to grow beside a flower than to get rid of one that has become one with the flower. Once the weed becomes one with the flower, it is virtually impossible to remove the weed without damaging the flower. When a weed and a flower are growing together, one or the other will grow stronger, depending on who has the stronger roots. The flower will always be a flower, but because of the weed’s attachment to it and its influence upon its growth, it may not be a healthy flower.
A flower will never be comfortable living with a weed attached to it. I John 3:9 tells us, “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin because he has been born of God.” The NKJV Commentary of the Nelson Study Bible says, “Sometimes a weed might look like a flower. It can even have a bloom. Tares closely resemble wheat, but are poisonous to human beings. They are indistinguishable from wheat until the final fruit appears.” Sometimes a weed will present itself as a flower in our children’s lives and only after it has attached itself to the flower and “the final fruit appears” does the truth begin to be known. Jesus said, “A tree is known by its fruit,” and “a bad tree cannot produce good fruit nor can a good tree produce bad fruit.” (Matt. 7:17). When in doubt, watch the fruit. A flower will always have a conscience toward sin because of the seed of God that is in them. Even if they should temporarily behave like a weed, their conscience toward God will not allow them to continue doing so, because His seed remains in them. Weeds don’t have a conscience toward sin, because God’s seed is not in them. They can’t produce good fruit because you can’t produce what you don’t have. T. J. Jakes used the comparison of pigs and sheep in distinguishing between Christian and non-Christian behavior, noting that pigs enjoy wallowing in the mud, while sheep do not. So true!
Unfortunately, we all start out in life as weeds. Romans 11:24 tells us we were, “cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree.” That “tree,” of course, being Christ. To cultivate something means to improve, develop or upgrade the quality of it. A cultivated olive tree means it was a better tree. We are all weeds until we are grafted into Christ, but once we are, our union with him “upgrades” us from a weed to a flower. So there is hope for every weed, but unless and until the weed becomes grafted into Christ, it will always be a threat to a flower. Our children are like flower gardens. God has entrusted them to our care. We are responsible for keeping vigilance over them every day. We are responsible for making sure their roots are growing strong and secure in the soil of God’s word. It is our responsibility to keep an eye on the weeds that will try to attach themselves to their lives. We can’t prevent weeds from trying to attach themselves to our flowers, but we can try to prevent them from taking root in their lives. Just like in our flower gardens, we are always going to have to deal with the intrusion of weeds in our children’s lives. We have an enemy who is just waiting for the opportune time to plant his seeds into our children’s lives. If we live in a state of unawareness, he will. We can avoid his doing so if we just keep an eye on the weeds. If not, we may find ourselves constantly down on bended knees, pulling weeds. Constantly in prayer, fighting tares.
In my flower garden I planted flower seeds
I watched them as they grew and I was very pleased
Though starting out so small they grew so very strong
They seemed to do so well I just left them on their own
From my kitchen window I daily took delight
In watching as they grew up almost overnight
Then one morning I noticed my flowers were not thriving
Once standing tall and strong they now seemed to be striving
I ran out to my garden and falling upon my knees
Found my beautiful flower garden filled with ugly weeds
“An enemy has done this” I thought, “In silence he came creeping”
“Yes” my conscience spoke, “Perhaps while you were sleeping”
As for my poor flowers they were simply unaware
That the weeds they had befriended in disguise were tares
But now here they were and what was I to do
For if the weeds were removed my flowers suffered too
So now I watch my flowers as they strive to live each day
Struggling with the weeds that are choking their lives away
If only I had watched them a little closer day by day
Instead of just admiring them and going about my way
My flowers might have grown to be beautiful and free
And I would not be constantly down upon my knees
(Matthew 13:7 – Other seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked them.)