“And the remnant who have escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward.” (2 Kings 19:30)
In this passage, the house of Judah is compared to a tree. We will also compare the Christian family with a tree. We are going to see some important lessons the trees can teach us as the Christian family. Trees have four major parts. They are the roots, the trunk, the branches and the fruit.
The Roots Seek Out God – The roots are the most important part of the tree. They remain underground. They are hidden. They hold the tree fast. The tree comes from the root. Without the roots there would be no tree. Roots dig deep into the ground to receive nourishment and make the tree stable. As the house of Judah was promised to take root again and flourish as it returned to their God, so the Christian family will only be nourished and stable as it is rooted in God Himself and the things of God.
God is the foundation of every Christian family (Psalm 127:1). God must be the very reason every Christian family exists. God must be the first in every family. Unfortunately, we see many Christian families put their children, possessions, education, job, pleasure, etc., first rather than God and the things of God.
The Trunk is Like the Family’s Father – The trunk is the strongest part of the tree. It is the first thing that appears above the ground. Like the trunk, the father sets the direction of growth according to his biblical authority. Next comes his wife in submissive cooperation with him, and finally the children. That is God’s plan for a perfect family tree. That was God’s plan in the Garden of Eden and that is God’s plan today. God has not changed nor has He changed His plan. Anything out of this order will create chaos. It won’t work.
As the head of the family, the father must lead, support and protect his family in every aspect of life physically, mentally, and spiritually (1 Tim.3:4-5). As he is God’s immediate representative to his family, his relationship with God is crucial. He must get from God the wisdom and the strength he needs for his family.
The Branches are Like the Family’s Mother – The mother is in the middle between the father and children. The father, connected to the roots, leads and strengthens his wife, giving her a solid foundation for her work in the home. Supported by strong spiritual leadership, she has a powerful influence upon the children, as well as the rest of the home.
According to the Bible, the mother is to help the father (Gen. 2:18) and to be submissive to his leadership (Eph. 5:22-24; 1Pet. 3:1-6). The mother knows the children well and stays closest to them. She also has many skills and energy that the father normally does not have. So, she is the best helper in the universe for the father. By using all these elements in a submissive way, the mother helps the father to make the home a sweet home.
The Fruit is Like the Children – The fruit of the tree, which includes the leaves, the flowers, and the seeds, represents the children in our analogy. According to the Bible, children are to obey and respect (honor) their parents. God took the matter of obedience and respect very seriously. The death penalty was associated with those that mistreated, disrespected or disobeyed their parents in the Old Testament (Exo.21:15, 17; Deut. 21:18-21; Prov. 30:17).
Parents, don’t let your children pick and choose when they want to listen to and obey you. The Bible says that they are to obey you in all things (Eph. 6:1-3; Col. 3:20). This includes what clothes they should and shouldn’t wear; what friends they should and shouldn’t have; what activities they can participate in; and what discipline they are to receive, to name a few things.
Parents must teach their children (Deut. 6:1-9; Gen.18:19; Eph.6:4). As childhood is preparation for adulthood, parents must teach them while they are young (Prov.22:6). Begin training your children now. It is not too late to begin. They will flourish spiritually and in every other way when they are properly connected to the Christian “family tree.” Godly children, like the leaves and fruit of a tree, make the “family tree” beautiful.
Now we know who represents what part of the Christian “family tree.” It is important that the tree is put together correctly. The leaves cannot be where the trunk should be; the branches cannot be where the trunk should be. You may laugh at this and think how ridiculous that thought is, but in many homes today the children are in charge and make all the decisions. In others homes the mother is in charge and makes all the decisions. It is wrong. It is against God’s natural order. The Fall began when Eve, the mother, made the decision. Let’s put the family in the right order.
Rev. Khawl Ro Kima