Parable of the Rose

The Parable of the Rose

"Once there was a family that moved into a older home. Their new backyard had many trees and bushes.
The wife was excited to see a thorny rose bush against the back fence. The couple planted many more rose bushes against the brick house and researched how to caring for rose bushes. They learned that rose bushes need to be pruned down to 12 inches after winter, except for the climbing roses that bloom on old wood. The wife planted three climbing roses on trellises, and every February the husband cut back all the rose bushes except the climbers.
He also cut back the rose bush against the fence.

However, each year the rose alongside the fence refused to bloom!
It grew taller and filled itself with foliage, but a rose never appeared. The couple was stumped. 
Was it the weather? Was it the amount of sunlight? Was it the wrong variety of rose for the Texas heat?
Each year the couple cut it back with the other rose bushes, and although the other roses flourished, this rose bush never bloomed. The couple eventually discussed digging it out of the ground.

One Spring, the husband decided he would not cut it back. He left the old bush alone; he was curious to see what would happen. And miraculously, just as the other rose bushes opened their beautiful blossoms, this old rose bloomed. And boy did it bloom! It was full of small red roses, covering every branch! The husband was shocked and surprised. The wife looked at the blooming rose and realized this was not a bush rose - it was a climbing rose.
Previous owners planted it without a trellis and with nothing to climb, which explains why they were unaware of it potential for beauty. It finally had the chance to bloom on its old wood, and its graceful branches stretched out for something to grab onto."


As I walked around my backyard yesterday (yes, the parable is about my husband and me), I pondered on what lesson I could learn from this climbing rose. When we bought our house, we assumed it was regular bush rose, and we thought we were taking care of it properly by pruning it on schedule with all the rose bushes we planted. But not only does it need different care, it is a whole different type of plant!

Here are some ways that the parable of the climbing rose can teach us:

1. Sometimes as parents we try to raise each child the same way. We assume each child must follow the same rules, with the same consequences, with the same attitudes. But that doesn't really work. Siblings have different personalities, and each kid responds differently to parenting techniques. Parents will be more effective as they handle each child one-on-one and play to his/her individual strengths and potential.

2. Sometimes we assume we know everything about everything. However, our opinions can change over time, if we allow time to teach us. I wrote a similar article here.

3. Children can grow and develop if they are allowed the opportunity to flourish. Even though a child might have a reputation for being rude or disrespectful, we can choose to nurture and care about him/her. Perhaps they were not given a trellis to climb on, or perhaps their strengths have not been discovered yet. As adults, we can encourage them to reach their potential.

What other lessons might be learned from the parable of the rose?
How does this story influence your personal life?

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