Spiritual Gardening

boy smelling tulips

Spiritual Gardening: A Growing in Christ Lesson for Kids

Spring is in the air and my family is enjoying the warmer days and gentle breezes. Along with spring comes the beloved gardening season. Our spring days are often filled with weeding, planting, watering, and more!

My favorite part of preparing my garden? Carefully choosing the flowers and plants – both annuals that my family will replace each season and perennials (like tulips) that we can look forward to returning year after year with anticipation!

Working in the garden with your family – or even just planting a few new plants or flowers in pots for your front porch – is the perfect opportunity to introduce some lessons to your children about spiritual growth (and do a little spiritual gardening).

Think about it. A growing plant is a very clear picture of how Christians grow in Christ. Jesus loved using nature and gardening illustrations in His parables… I think He would delight at this educational lesson for kids! So gather some simple gardening supplies and spend an afternoon teaching and planting.

gardening with kids

Spiritual Gardening Lesson for Kids

What three things does a plant need to grow and thrive? Water, sunlight, and soil, of course! Use this object lesson to relate these three key items for success to the ingredients we need to have growth in our Christian life and don’t forget to warn your children about the “weeds”!

Spiritual Gardening Necessity #1: Soil

Plants need a good foundation of soil to start their growth. For Christians, our “soil,” our foundation, is Christ. Christ nurtures us and supports us. He gives us a place to extend our roots in safety.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. – John 15:4 (KJV)

Just like a plant needs nutrient rich soil to thrive, Christ gives his children every possible nutrient we would ever need: Peace, Love, Encouragement & Wisdom… and His supplies are unlimited.

Spiritual Gardening Necessity #2: Sunlight

What else do plants need to grow? Sunlight.

“Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105(KJV)

The Bible is our sunlight. Plants grow towards the light. They long for the warmth and strength that only sunlight can give. As children of God, we should also lean towards the light, His Word, for guidance, and strength. It can give us warmth and comfort in times of struggle, and lead us on the clear path in times of doubt. The Bible is a source of many things we need in our Christian life.

Spiritual Gardening Necessity #3: Water

Last but not least, plants need water to sustain them. I like to think of that much-needed water as fellowship with fellow believers. God didn’t intend for us to grow alone, but to be there to encourage each other in Christ.

For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them. –Matthew 18:20-22 (NIV)

We who had sweet fellowship together, Walked in the house of God in the throng. –Psalm 55:14 (NASB)

Fellow believers are meant to come together, loving one another and supporting each other as we grow. Fellowship can be refreshing to a soul, just like water to a plant. It can help us perk up on a particularly draining day or quench a thirst. Water can be a vessel for the nutrients we need to grow.

spiritual gardening

Don’t Forget the Weeds

Now that we’ve talked about the essentials, don’t forget to warn your children about the “weeds” that can sprout up in our gardens, both in real life and in our spiritual life. Weeds come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. The worst weed in our spiritual gardens, Satan, can sometimes be easy to spot, while other weeds, like wayward friends or feelings of bitterness and anger, can be hard to keep away.

Weeds choke plants, creating an atmosphere where growth can be impossible. Weeds work in our lives much the same way. They distract us from Christ as we pour all our vital nutrients into them instead of our Christian growth. Weeds can crush smaller, weaker plants easily.

Encourage your children to strengthen themselves with good soil (Christ), sunlight from above (His Word), and refreshing water (fellowship with fellow believers), so they may find themselves with strong roots that dig into their foundation, and a close spiritual walk with our Father.

What other signs of spring offer up spiritual object lessons at your house? Be sure to check out the Growing with Jesus: 100 Devotions devotional for kids by Andy Holmes, which is perfect for this time of year!

Each of these 100 short devotionals offers a Bible verse, a “Thought to Grow On” devotion, and a challenge that will help kids connect to God and build a relationship with Him.  As your kids grow, make sure their faith is growing too!

Your Turn

Have you started spring gardening in your area of the country (or world)? How are you making sure your kids’ faith is growing on the inside while new life is budding outside?

,p>Angie KnutsonAngie Knutson: Angie is a Christian freelance writer and homeschooling mom of four active children ranging in age from 5 to 13. She’s been married to her husband, Jeremy, for fifteen years as they’ve learned to live God’s way, and grown together in His love. Angie has recently left the world of diaper bags and babies, and is cautiously approaching life with teens. She blogs about faith and family at www.AngieKnutson.com
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