No, not a garden of plants and shrubs and trees, but a garden of love in your heart. I was raised with love I know but more of a severe type that kept you in tow. Not a kind of love that would cause you to obey because of your love for them, but because you knew if you didn't all was not well. I am very sorry to say that I learned from my parents the wrong way to raise children. I know my mother loved me but I was never sure where I stood with my stepfather. I thought their way was the right way. If only--------I could do it over.
I still notice that even today, children of all ages seem to be cautious around me and I can tell you that I hate it. I want to be loved by children more than anything but evidently I still have that severe air about me. What is strange, I use to be a children's division leader of kindergarten, primary and junior ages and they all loved me, but when it came to my own children, I loved them dearly but couldn't show it for fear they wouldn't obey and respect me, little did I know that the reason was lack of Christ's love in my heart.
As I get older and realize so much how much I needed Christ's love in my heart, things would have been so different. My children would have loved to obey me if I had dealt with them differently. I would have had a happier home life myself growing up if my parents would have had Christ's love in their hearts.
I am just realizing how much of a difference it makes to be filled with His love and let His love shine out of my heart. It makes all the world of difference to those around you. To your children, grandchildren, friends and acquaintances, neighbors and on and on. Don't forget your spouse, and pets, they need love too.
No matter how old you are you can change and plant a garden of love in your heart, it doesn't happen over night, but it does happen if we spend time with Him and in His Word. Today my children love me and I can tell that they care and have forgiven me for my severity but I wish I had started soon much sooner. I love my grandchildren, some of them know it and some of them are still shy of me, but I will get it taken care of in time.
Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, this is the love chapter in the Bible and you will understand what I am talking about. I am so glad we have a Father in heaven who forgives and makes things right after so many years.
May I suggest that you plant a garden of love in your heart and accept God's forgiveness if you have had my experience. It is well worth the effort and just love everyone, faults and all. You cannot change them but they will see your love for them and want the same for themselves. Love to you, Grandma Joan