"Your children will be like Olive shoots, round about your table"- Psalm 128:3
Recently I felt led to do some research on this very profound Bible verse. Why would the Bible use the Olive tree to describe our children? So this is what I found out.
The olive tree can leave for up to two thousand years. There are some trees that exists today that are about two thousand years old. The trunks of these trees can grown to diameters of over two meters. As the Olive tree gets older the wood in the middle eventually disintegrates. This lives the tree hollow, fragile and vulnerable to damage especially damage as a result of high winds.
The amazing thing I found about the Olive Tree is that I order to ensure its own safety it send up new shoots from its roots. Basically new shoots begin to grow from the root at the bottom. These shoots( small young trees) surrounds the "parent" tree and act as winds breaks that protect the fragile parent tree that is in the centre. One of these shoots eventually takes up the position of the parent tree.
In my research one particular article I read states "This provides a graphic illustration of the psalmist’s vision of children who surround and support their aged, righteous parents. If we’ve done a good job as parents and as adult children, caring for our own parents when they need us, we can expect our children to follow the example that we (and the olive tree) have set for them, caring for us in our later years. It is also a reminder of our obligations to our own parents and to our Heavenly Father."
This is so profound. Excerpts from another article I read says "In situations where extreme cold has damaged or killed the olive tree the rootstock can survive and produce new shoots which in turn become new trees. In this way olive trees can regenerate themselves. In Tuscany in 1985 a very severe frost destroyed many productive, and aged, olive trees and ruined many farmers' livelihoods. However new shoots appeared in the spring and, once the dead wood was removed, became the basis for new fruit-producing trees. In this way an olive tree can live for centuries or even millennia."
This was also very profound. Remember in the story of Noah it was an Olive branch that the bird brought back as a sing of life. This means that the Olive tree survived the great floods and was possible the only surviving tree. It could also mean that the Olive Tree began to produce new shoots immediately after the great flood. The point here is that the Olive tree survived a great clarity like the flood.
Like the Okove Tree, children are meant to take care of parents in their old age. Children are meant to carry on the family name and vision. Children are meant to do the things that their parents couldn't do in their own time. They are meant to outperform and excel more than their parents. Interns of wealth, your wealth is meant to outlive you and your children are meant to consolidate and multiply your wealth.
In order for this to happen parents need to invest time and love in bringing up their children.
The Bible in Proverbs 22:6 says "train up a child in the way He should go and when He is old, He would not depart from it.
He plans for generations. A generation is meant to out perform the previous generation. Just look at Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Joseph or David and Solomon.
Unfortunately most people in this generation are chasing money and neglect their children. Most of their kids get infected by this new disease called Affluenza. In their old age they spend the time they should be resting and enjoying the fruit of their labour, running from pillar to post, helter skelter from one rehab centre to a psychiatrist etc. They are trying to put together broken pieces from a shell. Can you put back the pieces of an egg?
Also this present generation is known as the boomerang generation. Please read Mrs. Nimi Akinkugbes book "the AtoZ of personal Finance" to know more about the boomerang generation.
What's the point of money, fame, success if your children cannot take what you have and make it better?
I met a family sometime ago and at age 18, the son had made his first million dollar. His father was a millionaire in dollars and his father before him. This was three generations of wealth. The last time I heard from them, the father was going to build hospitals in Namibia and his son was accompanying him.
On the other hand in many families in Africa, it is common for wealth to be diminished in own generation.
So how do you ensure your wealth outlives you.
By spending time with your most precious gifts. My taking out time to nurture them, develop them, groom them. Your job as a parent is the most important job you will ever perform I.e. Second to being a spouse. The returns you will receive from the investment of your time are uncountable.
Will you give your precious diamonds to unqualified people to keep for you? So why would you entrust someone else with your children?
Recently I heard that there are crèches that close at 10pm. What time would the child get home, bathe, sleep, play with their parent and wake up in the morning to return to the crèche if this child lives school at 10pm.
Here are a few tips to ensuring your kids grow up to be all that God created them to be.
1. Pray pray pray: we can only achieve this through Gods Grace.
2. Spend time with them.
3. Read the Bible with them
4. Pray with them and let them live your faith and not just hear it
5. Discuss things of God with them
6. Let them Experience God.
7. Teach them values
8. Teach them the value of hard work
9. Teach them the value of contentment
10. Teach them to love others
11. Teach them to be selfless
12 Play with your children. You can learn a lot about the character of a child during playtime.
13. Teach them about money.
14. Encourage your children to ask questions.
15. Ask your children questions.
16. Invest in your children
This list is not exhaustive. They are just tips and guides from research, books I've read and also people I'm currently learning from.
If you don't have children of your own yet, the Lord will bless you. The Lord is the one who gives. I also want you to think of prophet Eli, his sons were not good but all was not lost, God causes Hannah to give him Samuel. He invested in Samuel and He became one of the greatest prophets in Israel. Samuel was his succession plan. There are many children who need Eli's to bring out the best in them. They are waiting to be a part of the success story of your generation.
Most importantly everything is by the Grace of God. We must pray continue to depend on the Holy Spirit.
May our children be like Olive shoots around our table in Jesus Name Amen.