What an Olive Farmer Taught Me About Discipleship

Sometimes it is easy to lose sight of the goal when we are in the trenches of parenting. We forget that our job is one of discipleship. As a mother of four grown children, I understand. We had four children in 39 months, and I remember one day thinking, “Am I ever going to do anything besides feeding, diapering, cleaning, and then repeating it all again in a few hours?


Can you relate?

Before I knew it, I turned around one day and my toddlers had turned into teens. Through a series of miracles, my husband and I were able to take our teens to Israel on an educational tour. It forever changed our lives, but it also helped us as parents to continue with discipleship and training of our children in the few years we had left with them.

Today, I want to share with you an event that helped me see the importance of discipling our children and I hope it will encourage you too.

What an Olive Farmer Taught Me About Discipleship

Olive Farm Pruning Tree text on image reads: What an Olive Farmer Taught Me About Discipleship

It was a hot day in August as we toured in Israel. One of the first things you notice in Israel is the olive trees. According to Israeli law, olive trees represent ownership of the land. If you own the olive tree, you own the land. 

One day our tour guide talked about the different philosophies behind planting olive trees in the land of Israel.

He explained that there are two methods:

Method 1 the Common Method

  • Cut a shoot from a live tree
  • Place it in a hole dug for the new tree
  • Water and fertilizer
  • Watch for fruit

Method 2 – the Jewish Method

  • Cut a shoot from a live tree
  • Take the tree into a nursery
  • Water and fertilize the young tree under the watchful care of the gardener
  • When the plant is strong enough, transplant
  • Water, fertilize, and prune
  • Watch for fruit

When asked, “What is the difference between the two trees in the end?”  He paused and said,

“The quality of the fruit.”

Are you feeding, diapering, and cleaning while taking care of toddlers? Do you have teens living in your home?

As you go through your busy days, remember you have a goal, to bear fruit yourself and disciple those God has placed in your garden.

One day we will all stand before the Master Gardener, and He will examine the quality of our fruit and of the fruit of the little trees He has placed in our garden. Will you hear, “Well done! Good and faithful servant?

May God bless you as you nurture the young trees in your nursery!


Dianna Wiebe is the primary author for Grapevine Studies. She brings an energetic and creative approach to her studies enabling her students to learn through direct interaction with the Bible. She has written over thirty Bible studies that are being used around the world by families, churches, and missionaries. Dianna is happily married to John and they have four grown children and many grandchildren. Dianna’s children are homeschool graduates and now college graduates. She spends her time researching, writing, teaching, and running the day to day operations for Grapevine Studies.

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3 Responses

  1. So glad this was an encouragement to you! You are definitely in a very busy season, but what an opportunity to disciple those precious ones for the Lord!

  2. Wow, that was so encouraging and exactly what I needed! We had 3 kids in less than 3 years(my youngest will be 2 in a couple weeks, a 3 yo, and a 4 yo). They are huge blessings and challenges all at the same time! Having children has given me a glimpse of His unconditonal love. Thank you all for investing in moms of littles!

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