It’s hard to tell in this picture, but these lemons are huge. Not just a “that lemon is nice” large, but anywhere from the size of a large orange to the size of a grapefruit. It is not genetically engineered fruit, but fruit that was grown in the richest soil on earth. Volcanic soil, in this case that of Mt. Vesuvius.
If I lived in a slightly warmer climate, I could have a lemon tree in my yard. I could read up on how to care for a lemon tree. I could water the tree, fertilize it and talk to it. No matter how well I tended it, my tree would never produce lemons the size of the ones in Pompeii. Why? Because the soil in my yard is red clay, possibly some of the worst soil for growing wonderful lemons.
The parable of the sower in the Bible is based on the same idea. The Word of God is planted in the metaphorical soil in the hearts of various people. Just like the lemon tree, the Word of God grows best in people whose soil or hearts are fertile, weed free, briar free and well cared for by the owner.
As a parent, you have the unique opportunity to prepare the soil of your child’s heart for God’s Word. Are you encouraging them to have open hearts and minds towards God? Are you training them to look to God for their answers and follow His Words? Are you teaching them how to see God working not only around them, but in their own lives? Are you preparing their hearts and minds to recognize God’s Words when they hear or read them? Are you impressing upon your children the importance of following God every day of their lives?
Your children will grow up to have free will and will have the responsibility of making their own decisions about if or how they will follow the Lord. You can help them make better choices by doing everything you can to make sure their hearts are ready to receive the seeds of God’s Words with the richest soil possible in their hearts. You may just be amazed at the fruit your children produce for the Lord.