The  Fruitful  Vine

"Thy wife shall be as a FRUITFUL VINE by the sides of thy house." Psalm 128:3a
Growing Up                                      by  A.  Abraham
Provoke Not Your Child                   by  K.  Huff
The Gigolo Son                                 by  M.  Pierce

by A. Abraham,  OH

Growing up is not easy. It does not happen quickly, but gradually. It Is a process sure to continue as long as there is a soft heart to mold.

Sometimes we act childish when we want to know about things those older in the Lord have or do. We forget to be thankful for where God has US and to rest and trust in Him and His timing.

We are sometimes in comparison to a 2 year old child trying to eat a meal meant for a laboring man:

Wanting what others have
Wanting the amount they have
Wanting the kind they have
And NOT Thanking and Praising God for what we do have.

We sometimes throw spiritual temper tantrums that reveal our envious. discontent, and stubborn heart that, at times, still wants its way.

We must quit allowing our hearts and mind to wander or be distracted by anything. We need to fix our direction on Him.

Growing up is hearing Instruction of the father.
There is a time to grow up and put away childish things.
Growing up means no longer wanting to draw attention to yourself, or lifting yourself up.
It is referring to and using that word "I" less and less.
Growing up means that you look at your own heart when you find yourself complaining about others.
It means you become responsible for your own actions, words and ways, no longer seeking others to blame for the result of your mistakes.

Growing up means no longer wanting the things of the world and the flesh.

            It is allowing the spirit to become what you desire.

Growing up is no longer constantly talking. but desiring quiet to hear His still small voice.

It is seeking words to speak that only glorify HIM and finding out that His own True Words and Hidden Meanings are what He wants spoken.

Growing up is laying aside the thins of the past, no longer reliving them by speaking them over and over but going on, learning and expanding in your KNOWING God.

It is also the giving up of the Impatience we had as a child, and coming to the realization that all things are beautiful In HIS time, especially when they are performed in His Way.

Also. when our outside seems to be all grown up and mature. this is really when the growing up process in our heart begins (first the physical, then the spiritual).

Growing up can be summed up in 2 words, CONSTANT CHANGE and constant change can only come about by a willing or repentant heart.

The Lord is counseling us to grow up into the head which is Christ.

It is the pressing on, not fearing what is ahead, but looking up and knowing we have HOPE - Christ in us the HOPE of Glory!

Growing up is knowing who your enemy is and that, through Christ, you have the victory

It is realizing the adversary has been put there by God to strengthen you or reveal something to you.

Growing up is knowing chastening is a part of God's love and He knows what is hidden in our heart that we cannot see.

It is trusting His higher ways.

Growing up is being on constant guard against worry, doubt, and fear entering your heart.

It is knowing that these 3 rob you of another 3 listed in II Timothy 1:7: POWER, LOVE, AND A SOUND MIND.

Growing up is being sensitive to the conviction of the Holy Spirit at all times. It is discerning good from evil, not just of others around you, but in your own heart.

Growing up is recognizing evil, vain imaginations and thoughts and destroying them, submitting them to Christ.

It is then you begin to realize and discern the times when the Lord is no longer supreme in authority in your mind.

Growing up is reading the Word, studying and praying because you want to know God in a new way each day. It is knowing that Christ is the Spirit of God. We MUST KNOW HIM if we are to be like Him.

Provoke Not Your Child
by K. Huff ,  OH

Do you ever provoke your child? Are you even aware that you may be provoking your children?

Ephesians 6:4 "And , ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

Colossians 3:21 "Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged."

First of all, the word FATHERS here also means MOTHERS.  The word PROVOKE means "to anger alongside, to enrage, indignation, violent passion, to stretch oneself to the excitement of the mind, abhorrence, to stimulate, contention, debate, strife, and a quarrel".

Many times, when we correct our children, we make more of a mess of things than we intended to. The reason being is that many times we have actually provoked the child, or have made the child angry, full of strife and contention, and a quarrel on his lips. The child is now rebellious and, most likely, will not adhere to anything we have said.

The Scripture says we are not to discourage them. We are to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The word NURTURE means "to educate, train, instruct, learn, and teach."

The word ADMONITION means "to call attention to by mild rebuke or warning, and to bring forth understanding in the mind.  When we discipline our children, are we instructing and training them? Are we using a mild rebuke on them, so that they may have an understanding of what they did wrong and why it was wrong?

In order to bring forth that understanding in our children, first WE must have an understanding of why our child has done wrong. The word UNDERSTAND means "to have a comprehension or an awareness of something. The ability to put yourself in the place of another. To know something from the bottom up, as if you have stood under it and looked up."

Proverbs 17:24 "Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth."

Wisdom is the presence of one who has understanding. If we have an understanding of our children and why they have done wrong, then we have the wisdom on how to discipline them for that wrong.  Have you ever corrected your children, but later found that what you had corrected them for was entirely wrong, or off base? This is also one way we provoke the child. When we have that understanding this will not happen.

Proverbs 2:6 "So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding."

Proverbs 9:9-10 "Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding."  Knowing our children is understanding them. Instructing our children will increase their learning.  Many times the children have not been instructed correctly, therefore, the results are they have no understanding. They have not complied to our wishes or standards. This brings forth the action of discipline from the parent, which results in provoking the child for lack of understanding on their part.

Our heavenly Father has an understanding of us. He is capable of looking from the bottom up. He trains and instructs us well from the Word of God. When we do wrong, He does not provoke us to more anger, but He rebukes or admonishes us mildly from the Word of God.

Another way we provoke our children is by not really listening to what they have to say. Proverbs 18:13 says "he that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him".  Many times we have only given our children partial attention. We answer them before they have completed their say. Our minds may have also been on something else, and only heard part of what they had spoken.

No wonder the children then only hear part of what we have instructed them to do, and then answer us before we are done instructing them. What example have we given them? A way to prevent this is to start with ourselves. When we have instructed our children to do something, ask them to repeat back to us exactly what we have said. This will determine whether they really heard us or not. This can then be done in reverse, when the child tells us something, or asks us something, we can repeat it back to them to make sure we have heard correctly. This keeps the lines of communication open and there will be no misunderstanding of what we or they have said.

Another way we provoke our children is by not standing on what we have said. This not only provokes the child, but it also confuses the child.

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."  James 1:5-8

When we do not stand on what we have told our children, especially where discipline is concerned, we become double minded. We are now unstable.  This brings instability, not only in our lives, but also to the lives of our children. The children will not be able to trust you, nor will they have a very good basis for a strong foundation under them. If the children know that you are continuously wavering on your decisions, they will play and play on you. Oh! What confusion this brings to their minds and ours. Confusion is not of God.

I encourage you as we go forth to correct and admonish our children, to do it with the wisdom and love from the Lord. Whenever it is possible, apply the Word to the child's correction. This will help us to gain the respect of our children. Our children will begin to gain a respect for the will of the Father in their lives.

The Gigolo Son
by M. Pierce CA

It is vitally important to understand the bottom line of nourishing our babies as they grow to adulthood. Remember God's Word, "Train up a child in the way he should go --- when he is old(er) he will not depart from it."

I am a Senior Citizen now. Through life's hard experiences and observations I now understand, by God's revealing and teaching me, a lot of what not to do. These observations are specifically relating to our sons.  Mothers, we MUST restrain ourselves from overly babying and pampering our male offspring. If we become the child's object of worship, we imprint in out sons that women (future wives) will continue to coddle and pamper these immature males. In fact, the Lord revealed these "adult mamma's boys" as becoming gigolos; needing a mother figure to finance their easy life. These same sons will not likely be very motivated to train for, or seek employment to sustain their lives or a wife and family.

We need but to listen to so many husbands to hear their inability to communicate and come to grips with their own feelings. If one cannot express what is going on inside one's thoughts and feelings then one is locked up with often dark, emotional and negative thoughts. Whatever can we do to avoid developing a child with the gigolo learning? As an older person, I recognize the need to encourage our children to express fully HOW they feel about those with whom they have to do. One mother encourages her children to keep a daily diary. These things can be discussed, placing a godly attitude, teaching our youngsters understanding of others, forgiveness, and love.

Know ourselves well enough to recognize that the desires and the tendency to be the "Good Guy" to our sons, in letting the youngster off the hook, will fail to let the child understand at an early age he has to be responsible for his own actions. Thus the child loses the lesson of "What we sow, we also reap" without learning that responsibility.

If the mother is a buffer in that her child always fails to accept his responsibilities for all his actions, the mother is insulating and keeping the child forever locked into having Mom --- or another adult female take care of his life. A gigolo-spirited man is a hard mate to share life with AND even worse, the problems pass on to his children to the 3rd and 4th generations.

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