Stapled Apples

I was in a small group of moms a short time ago, studying together about parenting. Between us six women we had 22 kids ranging from college age to infant. One of the books we read together was Age of Opportunity by Paul David Tripp. There was an analogy in there that I will never forget.

Tripp talks about children behaving out of the heart. He gives an analogy about an apple tree in your yard. Every year it blooms and grows apples, but just before they are ready to be picked, the apples fall to the ground and rot. In order to fix the problem of not being able to enjoy delicious apples, you go to the store, buy a couple of bushels of apples and an industrial stapler, cut all the old apples off the tree and staple on the pretty red ones you just bought at the store. What a great idea, right?

Wrong. As Tripp said, the problem is more than a fruit problem; there is something fundamentally wrong with the tree. You have exchanged good fruit for bad fruit, but it won’t last, because the tree itself can’t produce good fruit.

One of my mantras has been: “You can’t legislate morality.” The Pharisees tried to do that. More laws didn’t save them. Only Jesus coming and giving His life to break the hold sin had on them changed them–but only if they let Him.

David and I don’t give our money to political causes: we give our money and our time and our very lives to helping change hearts. James 4:1 says wars and quarrels happen because we want what we want. Our hearts are dark. But Jesus is the Light. We don’t want to just staple apples on the tree: we want to be grafted in to the perfect root that will bring the most beautiful, delicious fruit. Change from the inside out.

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