Have you ever noticed how many parables contain some element of gardening in them? Growing things is a great way to teach your children about a lot of biblical principles. You don’t even have to own land. Container gardening works well, too. All you need is a little sunlight or even artificial lighting and any sort of container that can hold soil.
The more you involve your children in the process of planning, planting and caring for your garden, the more they will understand and remember what you are trying to teach them. Start by determining where your garden will be and what plants you will grow. If you want them to learn about plants in the Bible, you can find online lists of plants mentioned in the Bible. (Note: To be really accurate, use botanical names when ordering plants and seeds. Many modern varieties may differ from those mentioned in the Bible.)
Or your family may decide to use the produce in your gardens to serve the food insecure in your area. Talk to local food banks and ask what fresh produce would be most appreciated by their clients. Vegetables like carrots, tomatoes and peppers are fairly easy to grow and are used in a variety of common recipes. They also do well in container gardens.
If your children are older, they may want to help research not only what plants are mentioned in the Bible, but also historic recipes containing those foods and which parables, proverbs and other scriptures mention plants, gardens and/or vineyards. You and your children can also discuss how the lessons you learn while gardening illustrate other scriptures that may not directly mention plants or growing things. For example, you may want to talk about what happens when a plant is denied something it needs to grow well. Then explore what they will need to grow spiritually. What would happen if they denied themselves one of those things?
The great thing about gardening is that it is a year round process. Even in winter, planning your garden and starting seeds indoors can make it easier to garden in the Spring. What kind of preparation do they need to be able to use their gifts to serve God when He wants them to use their gifts for a good work He has planned for them? Why does procrastinating about important early tasks impact the garden (and their lives) negatively?
Gardening is a great spiritual tool for teaching, application principles, mentoring, service, faith sharing and more. So grab a seed catalog, a Bible and your kids and start planning your garden!