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We all have things in our lives that we do not wish to reproduce in the lives of our children, some things we don't want to multiply or spread. When we recognize them, it's weed-pulling time.

This principle of reproduction is seen in 1 Samuel 17. Goliath, the Philistine giant, had challenged the armies of Israel. Verse 11 says Saul and all his army were greatly afraid. So, how many giant killers were there in Saul's army? The answer is none. Why? Because Saul, the leader, was afraid of the giant, and he reproduced that fear in those that followed him. The army wouldn't go farther than their leader. Later in the chapter, we see that David, coming to visit, wasn't under this limitation. He hadn't been under Saul's influence. He had been communing with God. When he came to the battle and saw the army quaking, something other than fear rose up in him and he said, "I'll go fight that giant!" And you know the rest of the story.

Eventually David became king. So the question becomes, "How many giant killers were in David's army?" 1 Chronicles 11 lists quite a few, and says, "These also are the chief of the mighty men David had." In David's army there were many giant killers. What made the difference? It wasn't the quality of human flesh. It was the quality of leadership, or influence, that produced after it's own kind.

Parenting is one of the greatest examples of this principle of reproduction because of the amount of time children spend under our influence. The thing that irritates us as parents the most is when we see our own weaknesses played out in the lives of our children. For good or bad, we produce children after our kind. If we are compassionate, what will our children be like? Maybe not day by day or moment by moment, but over the long haul, they are going to be compassionate people. If we are short tempered or ill willed, what will be reproduced? The same principle is at work.

We can look at the life of Samuel for another example of this principle. In 1 Samuel 3:11-14 we learn that Eli, the priest, had not restrained his children from evil. Samuel was introduced into Eli's home at an early age. He had a heart for God and grew up to be one of the greatest prophets in Israel, even under the influence of Eli. What about his children? First Samuel 8:3 says that Samuel's sons "walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment." Samuel had been raised under the influence of Eli, who didn't discipline his children, and Samuel's sons were not disciplined either.

Samuel's example can work for good as well as bad. We don't have to be like our parents if they weren't what we ought to be. We can put ourselves under godly leadership and become influenced by them to overcome the influences we had in our earlier days. The introduction of godly leadership can rescue us from the other influences, because there is no greater power than God Himself.

In Matthew 5:48, Jesus commanded, "Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." The word "perfect" here refers to maturity. As Christians, we are born of God and we will bear a family resemblance, but how much of it we allow to flow through us on a daily basis is subject to change. If we're not where we want to be right now, we're not going to get there by ourselves; someone has to reproduce maturity in our lives.

God has precious seed he wants to place inside of us, that when watered and tended will grow and produce fruit, but there must be relationship for it to be reproduced. It doesn't come by just sitting in church services. The more we are around Him and those like Him, the more we will produce His qualities in our lives.

We will also reproduce the quality of vocabulary we have been exposed to unless there is some other influence introduced. In John 12:50 Jesus said, "Even as the Father said unto Me, so I speak." My brothers and sister and I grew up in a home where there wasn't much swearing. At school, we became exposed to language we hadn't heard before. But the influence of our father remained strong, and to this day, none of my father's children are abusive speakers. We speak even as our father spoke.

In our parenting, my wife and I had to decide how we would handle the different language our children were hearing on the playground. We simply said, "If you don't hear Mom and Dad using those words, then you don't use them either." In other words, what they heard come out of us was their guideline. If we heard them repeating things we said, we had very little recourse. But certain phrases that were never used at home could be cut off with authority by simply asking the question, "Have you ever heard Mom or Dad use that phrase? If not, then you don't use it either."

We all have things in our lives that we do not wish to reproduce in the lives of our children, some things we don't want to multiply or spread. When we recognize them, it's weed-pulling time. If you don't want thistles growing in your potato patch, you have to work to reduce the influence of the seed that the weed produces. You have to do some weeding, hoeing, and chopping. The seeds themselves cannot be denied, but the growth and influence of those seeds can be diminished. That's what we have to do in our lives, too.

If you've introduced undesirable qualities into your home, the first person to deal with is you, the parent. "Don't do as I do, do as I say," has very little sway in influencing children. As you come under the influence of your heavenly Father, you can reproduce His influence in your home.

Paul took this level of responsibility for those under him. In 1 Corinthians 11:1, he said, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ." Would you tell your children that? Could you say to them, "Just be like I am and you'll be a success?" By our walk, we can set a standard for our children that ensure, if they will follow us, they will be successful.

In the measure that we know, understand and follow the character of Jesus, we can reproduce that in someone else. It's all right if we haven't progressed very far for as we are changed our influence on others changes also. We never have to be discouraged because we aren't "there" yet and are still affected by the past influences we've had in our lives.

Jesus Christ is continually faithful over His word, from the beginning of the process to the very end. Don't condemn yourself because you find tares. Just know that if you will give God more and more of your attention, you will grow and your garden will become more and more fruitful. And that's what pleases Him.

I have a sign that reads, "No matter what you teach a child, he insists on behaving like his parents." That may sound humorous, but it's a scriptural principle revealed in the first chapter of Genesis: everything will produce after its own kind. God says this system of reproduction is good—it ought to be that way. But when tares, or weeds, get sown, they produce after their own kind, too. Our leadership has that kind of influence.

Copyright © Word of Faith Church
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Tim Davidson
Web site: Word of Faith Church & Outreach Center
Tim Davidson is the Head Pastor of Word of Faith Church and Outreach Center in Bismarck, North Dakota. A 1977 graduate of Rhema Bible Training Center of Tulsa, Oklahoma, God has called Tim into the body of Christ as a teacher and pastor. Called to the Body of Christ as a pastor and teacher, Tim Davidson pioneered Word of Faith Church in Bismarck in 1980. He served as its Lead Pastor for 35 years and now serves as Founding Pastor. Pastor Tim has pioneered 6 churches in North Dakota and now serves as Regional Director for Rhema Ministerial Association International. Teaching believers foundational truths from God's Word is his passion. He has authored 3 yearly devotion books that are used both here and overseas to help believers become "rooted and grounded" in their faith. God is now calling Pastor Tim to share the treasury of wisdom and knowledge God has given to him with other pastors and churches.

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