Parents, in the midst of all the craziness that life with young children presents us with, it's tough not to get discouraged. We would never say it out loud but there are some days we wonder if all of this is worth the time and energy it requires. We have trouble seeing what all of this is producing. In Psalm 128:3, children are likened to olive plants. Olive plants eventually become olive trees and olive trees were a sign of prosperity in biblical times. Doreen Moore, author of Good Christians, Good Husbands? writes,
Olive oil, olive wood, and the fruit of an olive tree were precious commodities. Olive oil, for example, was used for eating, illumination, and anointing. Historian Will Durant, in The Story of Civilization, says an olive plant "takes sixteen years to come to fruit, forty years to reach perfection."
Children are like olive plants. It may take years and even longer until we see maturity and maximum fruitfulness. But as Doreen Moore writes, "the time and effort spent cultivating our own olive plants is well worth it. Not to mention that the inheritance is for many generations to come (Ps. 78:5-6).
Let that be a reminder to you as you go and change another diaper, pick up another toy, and break up another fight. It's worth it. Those little olive plants are entrusted to you; and one day, by God's grace and your faithfulness, will grow into fruitful olive trees for the glory of God.