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Thorns Among The Seed
by Tony N. Boyd


As we reel from the shocking news in Colorado, Kentucky, Georgia and other locations that have drawn national attention due to senseless killings in our schools, we must stop and consider our ways (Haggai 1:5). We can search and find answers to questions that seem to puzzle the Sociologist, Psychologist, and the educators of our country. These answers are found in God's Word.
First, let us truly consider our ways. Over 60% of adult women are in the workplace outside the home today. This does not indicate a wrong, necessarily, but it is worth considering if indeed children in those homes are left unattended. Over 25% of children are now raised by single-parent homes. The next statistic is startling - 14 to 18 kids commit suicide everyday in the U.S.! Another 250,000 attempt suicide annually! And 80% of those are 2nd attempts. In fact, suicide is the 3rd largest cause of death in this country and is the 9th largest cause of death among adults. The average 18 year old has had 22,000 hours of television, 9,000 hours of classroom, and only 168 hours of communication with their parents - an average of 7 and 1/2 minutes a week!! This, my friends, is not the home God instituted and ordained for mankind. There are truly "Thorns among the seed."
We all plan, hope and wish our children to be successful. By that we mean we want them to have what is called "Peace of Mind" or freedom from guilt, fear and anger. A child is born only with a fear of falling and of loud noises. All other fears that we may exhibit are learned by us and therefore taught to us by our parents or some other adult. We know we must be taught the "Fear of the Lord", which is the beginning of wisdom. And we know that "perfect love casteth out fear" so that we may have boldness. So when we train our children to believe they are self-limiting, they become just that, and they begin to go thru life believing that they are worthless and have nothing to contribute to their society, family, or friends. Instead, they should be told that "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world" and that "I can do all things thru Christ Jesus who strengthens me!"
Guilt is used by so many because it works to manipulate others to do what we want them to do. The Pharisees were a great example of this use of guilt to punish, manipulate and control others. The law of sowing and reaping includes the law of expectations (See Gal. 6:7). When we tell our children that they are "Stupid, Dumb, etc." and that they will be in jail before they are 20, guess what? - They usually are!!! This is because of another spiritual law, the law of attraction, which says we usually associate with those of the same self-concept. (We have seen this illustrated by gang members dressing alike, similar to the killers in Colorado wearing identical trenchcoats.) In this environment, children lose the concept taught to Cain by God himself, and that is you are responsible for your own actions.
Most of these "Thorns Among the Seeds" result in one common thing - anger. It is definitely not a fruit of the Spirit! Christ said He has a peace that He gives, not as the world gives. And His Word says not to provoke our children to anger but to train up a child in the way he should go. And sadly, my friends, we can not "train" them in 7 and 1/2 minutes a week!! Instead of the demeaning instructions children sometimes receive, we should establish two goals for them: 1. Help them prioritize their life. Whatever they choose to do, help them do it heartily! Teach them to seek first the Kingdom of God and then He will help them put things in their order of importance pertaining to their friends, careers, family, etc.
2. Teach them to love themselves. This has been a misunderstood concept for a long time. We are not referring to those who take this advice to extremes and become self-centered. No one likes someone who is "struck on themselves." But until a child loves themselves, he cannot love his neighbor - it's simply impossible. Our instructions were to "love our neighbor as ourselves" and we cannot give love away until we have love for ourselves. (See II Cor. 13:11).
When we release our children from these fears - fears of failing, fear of success, fear of losing, fear of looking foolish, etc., they can begin to understand the rest of what God referred to in the book of Hebrews. Then our children can learn love instead of hate; joy instead of depression and grief; peace instead of disturbance; long-suffering instead of short-tempered; gentleness instead of nastiness and harshness; goodness instead of evil; faith instead of worry; meekness (which is enduring injury with patience) instead of being a user or manipulative and savage; temperance (which is restraint and self-controlled) instead of self-indulged. These things, my friends, are of God and are the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 4:22).