Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
The roots of olive trees grow in rocky soil. The shoots mature slowly, bearing no fruit until they are seven years old. Even then, the olives the tree produces are bitter to the taste. A good olive harvest often takes 10 to 15 years, but the tree, if planted properly, can live for 20 generations.
It is in these terms that God describes the children of those who fear the Lord: like an olive tree with roots penetrating into crags and growth gradual and slow (see Psalm 128:3). Such a tree is worth the wait and not easily uprooted.
Read Psalm 128. Children who are as strong and fruitful as olive trees don’t grow automatically. They come to those who fear the Lord and who walk in His ways. Godly children are often a byproduct of godly living.
There is immense pressure to mistakenly think of our children as consumers of culture and extend this way of thinking into the church. We give them a good time, keep Bible teachings at surface level, and market to them what we think they want. Yet that kind of Christian faith will never stand up to the battering attacks of the enemy because it fails to put Jesus Christ at the front and center of life.
Our responsibility to the next generation is to train up warriors for Christ—and the best way to do that is to become warriors ourselves. Just as the grower tends to and nurtures the olive tree, we may plant and water, but it is God who will bring the lasting growth. So, let’s fear the Lord by seeking after Him with all our hearts and by trusting Him to grow our children into the men and women He desires them to be.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for giving me the tools I need not only to be a strong warrior for You but also to spiritually equip the young people in my life. Thank You that You are the one who ultimately brings the growth. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow” (1 Corinthians 3:6).