Do I Produce Fruit When I Teach My Children About God?
Welcome to Bible Question and Answer, our bi-weekly series where we provide Bible verses, answers and advice to the questions and concerns you have. During the course of the last two weeks readers have submitted their questions and today we are going to answer one of them.
Question: While I am unable to find the exact scripture reference at the moment, i am sure u will know what i am talking about. In the new testament it talks about those who dont produce fruit, which i understand as not teaching others about Christ.
First a little background. I am married with 2 teenagers in homeschool. My son has Autism and its hard to get him to leave the house, unless its to go see family members. My husband works full time and takes our only truck to work.
My ability to teach others is limited to teaching my children mostly.( Altho, there are times when my husband asks my advice on helping others with scriptural truths, especially with women coworkers)
My question is this. Is teaching my children enough?
Name: Brandon T. Ward
Answer: Thank you for the question Cristy.
One of the biggest misconceptions Christians have is they feel they need to be a teacher. Not everyone is meant to be a teacher, but that does not mean we cannot share the Gospel either. It simply means, teaching may not be our primary goal for Christ, it may be something else.
Each of us are blessed with various gifts from God, we should understand that and use those gifts to the best of our ability to work for Christ, (Romans 12:6-8). Some people have tender hearts, some people are good at counseling others, some people are outgoing and try to help people in need. These are only a few examples, but they are all working for Christ, depending on how the gift is applied.
Producing Fruit For God
This brings us to the producing fruit part.
What is producing fruit?
Does it mean only teaching?
10 “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;”
We bear fruit by our righteous acts, by our good works and by increasing our knowledge in God. It is these things that our Father finds pleasing.
So how can we accomplish those good works?
You are already doing it Cristy.
Some of your righteous acts are raising your children in a Christian home as we have been instructed, (Deuteronomy 6:5-8). You are spending a lot of time educating them yourself, homeschool is not for the faint of heart. You are also sharing your knowledge of Christ with your family, and your husband is using that knowledge to help others.
All of those things are righteous acts.
Take this whole subject to our Father in prayer. Ask Him to lead and guide you on your path, ask Him what He wants from you, in case you have any doubts. When we do that, He will lead us, believe that, (Psalms 32:8).
Let us further define “producing fruit” for God.
22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,”
23 “Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
In this chapter of Galatians we are told, we lead our life either by the flesh or spirit. Meaning, do we allow our flesh or spirit to make the decisions in our life?
We should always allow His Spirit to lead our life and think using our spirit, not the flesh. When we do that it removes so many challenges that arise in life. The point I want to draw on however in these two verses are the spiritual fruits we read of, which are simply works, good works.
The three verses we have covered so far make it clear, “producing fruit” is “good works.” They are the things we do for our Father, in His Name and other righteous acts toward and for others.
Christ Is The Vine
I believe the Bible verses you are looking for are found in John 15, turn there with me.
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.”
Who is the True Vine?
Jesus Christ who is speaking.
The Husbandman is the One who trims the branches and maintains the garden, that would be our Heavenly Father.
2 “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”
Think about a grapevine.
Christ is the main vine and we as Christians are the branches that grow from that vine. If we do not produce fruit, grapes in my example, then what good are we?
I tell you what, a branch that does not produce fruit is worthless, and this is why the Husbandman, our Heavenly Father cuts it off.
However, if our branch (we) does produce fruit our Father will “purgeth” (Strong’s: G2508) the branch (us) which means to “cleanse” and “prune“. When we are cleansed from our sins it means we have been forgiven by God, but here we are talking about “cleansing” the branch so it can produce even more fruit. Just like trimming the wick of an oil lamp.
3 “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.”
We are cleansed by the Wisdom of Jesus Christ, it is His Word that frees us and brings us Eternal Life.
4 “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”
5 “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
This really begins to bring it home. We must be in Jesus Christ if we hope to bear fruit for Him and our families. We cannot do it on our own, we cannot work for Christ without Christ.
6 “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”
A branch cannot bear fruit by itself, it must be connected to the vine, we must be connected to Christ otherwise we will wither away.
7 “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
Do not pray for a new Corvette or a fancy house alright?
We are talking about being one with Jesus Christ. We are talking about fruits of the Spirit and bringing forward fruit from the Vine of Christ.
Pray that we can help expand the Kingdom of God, ask Him for tools to be able to accomplish that and He will ensure that happens, if you are genuine in heart and you do the work.
8 “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”
Our Heavenly Father wants each and every one of us to bear fruit. Some will bear more than others, but it is all counted the same. Your mind should come to the Parable of the Talents, (Matthew 25:14-30).
9 “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.”
You know “love” is the most important commandment of them all?
Turn with me to,
30 “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”
31 “And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”
When we love others, it means we care about others. That is the reason we share the Scriptures with other people, out of love, out of hope that they can find His Light as we have found it, (1 John 1:5).
10 “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”
11 “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”
Cristy, you are producing fruit for God from what you have explained. That does not mean you cannot produce more fruit if you feel led, that is why I said take it to our Father. Always do that, always ask Him to lead your footsteps.
But understand, raising children to walk with the Lord is exactly what we are supposed to be doing and sharing His Word when we are able. You are doing that, you are sharing your light with the world and as in the Parable of the Talent, our Father marks that as good, (Matthew 5:14-16).