One of my favorite things to do as a child was to pluck white dandelions and blow them with a heavy breath, scattering the seeds on the wind. At the time I didn’t realize I was infesting my grandpa’s pristine lawn. To me it was just a game. Like dandelion seeds, we can plant faith in our children’s hearts … but as my grandpa could have told you, seeds grow best in the right conditions.
To make his grass grow, my grandpa provided soft soil and the right amount of moisture. This, of course, also made the perfect growing environment for dandelions. Add sunlight (which my grandpa did not provide, of course) and the dandelion seeds that I blew took root, much to my grandfather’s chagrin.
There are many things parents do to scatter faith in their children’s lives. We purchase Christian music and books. We take our children to church. We read them Bible stories. What we forget, is that these are only seeds. For seeds to grow we need to provide a foundation of trust and dependence.
According to Dictionary.com, trust is defined as, “reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.” Trust doesn’t come from “things” but from people: parents and grandparents who model what God’s Word says and Sunday school teachers who offer hugs, smiles, and kind words in addition to coloring sheets and crayons. Children also benefit from connections with family friends, people from other cultures, and missionaries whose active faith proves loving and following God is not just a “mom and dad” thing.
In fact, the more trusting relationships there are in a child’s life, the more fertile the ground for the seeds you scatter. And soon, with the light of the Son, the seeds will grow.
Warmer days outside can remind us of the need to plant seeds in a child’s heart, but dandelion days are any day in your child’s life. Faith in God isn’t just something we cross our fingers and hope for. If we provide the right environment, we can trust God will make those seeds grow.
Ten Trust Builders
1. Ask a grandparent or special friend to read Bible storybooks with your toddler.
2. When you’re on an outing with friends, point out a beautiful sunset or exquisite flower and exclaim over God’s creation.
3. Invite your child’s Sunday school teacher into your home for a meal or dessert.
4. Join with other families to take a meal to a needy friend.
5. Introduce your child to your pastor.
6. Train your child how to connect and communicate with someone who is disabled.
7. Involve your child in ordinary acts of kindness to neighbors and strangers.
8. Spend time with families who are different than your own in race, economic standing, or culture.
9. Color a picture together to send to a missionary you support.
10. Model God’s love in and outside your home. Your child follows your actions, even more than your words.
As you model caring, trusting relationships the seeds of faith you scatter will take root!