In mid-summer there is a point when the weeds can overtake a garden or flower border. Even in the spring, small weeds can be found. In colder months, weeds may occasionally sprout in house plants that were left outdoors in the warmer weather.
Weeds are mentioned quite a bit in the Bible. Our free, fun, flexible devotional today is all about weeds. If it’s summer, you might even get some help weeding the family garden as your kids learn something important from the Bible!
So let’s get started.
Materials: Bible, area of a garden or flower border that contains weeds and/or a handful of weeds mixed with plants or grass from a lawn, garden gloves, trowels
Procedure: Choose one of the following Bible stories and application principles to teach your kids.
- The Fall. Genesis 3. The Garden of Eden was perfect. Adam and Eve had everything they could want. They cared for a garden where weeds never grew and hard work wasn’t needed to produce food. They only had one rule. Yet Satan was able to tempt them to break that rule and sin. One of the punishments God gave Adam and Eve was that it would no longer be easy to grow food. We would have to work to get rid of weeds and pests. It would take hard labor to produce food. Even with all of our modern inventions today, farming is still a tough occupation. But the story of the Fall is about more than weeds. It’s a pattern that all of us repeat – often, in very similar ways. We may find it easy to keep God’s commands about not murdering or stealing. Usually, it’s the seemingly little commands – the ones which should be easy to keep, that trip us up. We often sin because just like Eve, we allow our selfish desires to control our choices. We decide what we want is more important than obeying God.
- Weeds and the Sluggard. Proverbs 24:30-34. Sluggard is a great word we don’t really use much today. It’s a person who is lazy and acts like…well a slug! The Bible tells us in many ways, God does not want us to be lazy. These verses in Proverbs are a very visual picture of what happens to everything around a sluggard. In fact, this section of Proverbs lets us know that some people are so stuck in their laziness that they will even sacrifice having enough food to eat…because they would rather be lazy than work.
- Parable of the Weeds. Matthew 13:24-30. This one of the parables Jesus told while he was on earth. A parable is an “earthly story with a heavenly meaning”. The earthly story is rather interesting. A man plants a field of crops. While his workers are sleeping, his enemy slips in and secretly plants weed seeds in his field of crops. To us, it seems like a strange and rather slow way of trying to hurt an enemy, but in theory it could have worked. If you’ve ever planted a garden, you know when the seeds first come up as tiny plants, they are very delicate. Even thinning them out so they have enough room to grow can accidentally destroy some of the plants you want to keep. Weeds often have the added fun of thorns or other things that could grab and ruin tender plants if you try to weed them all out of a field. Jesus said, they decided to wait until harvest when the plants would be larger and it would be easier to separate the good plants from the weeds. To harvest, all of the plants were pulled out of the ground anyway, so no growing plants were risked like they would have been earlier. The heavenly meaning of this parable is about people and not plants. Satan tries to get us to sin and places people who have rejected God in with Christians to try and get Christians to reject God. People often ask why God doesn’t just “get rid of all of the bad people”. It’s because God wants to give everyone a chance to decide whether they will be a “weed” or a “good plant”. If God got rid of all of the “bad” people, He may get rid of someone who later in life would have repented and decided to become a Christian. So, God will wait until Jesus returns and separate His people from the ones who have rejected Him.
Teach your kids the Bible story and application you have chosen. If you have weeds in your yard, go out and start pulling them out of the ground. Notice what happens. Relate the experience to the Bible story you chose. If you chose the Fall or Proverbs, you may want to have your kids weed for a very long time! As they whine and complain, reflect back on the story. If you chose the parable, have your kids notice what happens to anything near the plant as you pull it out of the ground by its roots. Explain to children that if you leave even the tiniest bit of root in the ground, the weed will grow back.
If the weather is too cold, for the parable try mixing various grasses or other small items – even pick up sticks. Have them notice how moving the wanted item also moves around the items you wanted to leave in place. For the other two stories, jobs around the house can be used to make the same points as the lesson.
End your time by talking about ways you can use what you learned today in each of your lives.