Occasionally I hear a so-called liberated parent say, "I don't want to tilt my child toward religion. I want to leave him free to examine the evidence and make up his own mind."

Such comments remind me of an old story about Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the great English poet. One day he was talking with a man who did not believe in giving children any religious instruction. After a while Coleridge asked his visitor if he would like to see his garden. The man said yes, and Coleridge took him into a section of the yard where only weeds were growing. The man looked at Coleridge in surprise and said, "This is no garden; this is nothing but weeds."

Coleridge replied, "Well, you see, I did not wish to infringe upon the liberty of the garden. I was giving the garden a chance to express itself and to choose its own production."

Parents, if you don't plant faith in your children's hearts, the weeds will take over.

(Bill Bouknight, "Just a Thought," 2/19/04)