The Bible Speaks
“Behold, there is a man of god in this city, and he is a man who is held in honor; all that he says comes true.” 1 Samuel 9:6
The servant of Saul knew Samuel to be a “man of God,” someone people held in honor and went to because he always told the truth and what he said always came true. Samuel was the last of the judges and in many ways the first of the prophets. He was looked up to by most everyone in Israel and lived a life worthy of their esteem. He was a son that would make any good mother proud, which brings me to the topic of parenting a man of God.
The Bible says that children are a gift from the Lord (Ps. 127:3) and therefore as parents we are entrusted with them. Though not all children come to us “miraculously” such as Samuel to Hannah and Isaac to Abraham, all children are given to their parents to raise and to develop into the young man or woman God would want them to become. This stewardship that parents are given should raise many questions in their hearts. First and foremost is: “what do I want my son or daughter to become?” By observing the activities that so many parents are enrolling their children in today, and the money they spend on them, it seems that most parents want their children to be athletes or celebrities. They also want them to have a stress free childhood and as much “protection from all pain” as they can manipulate for them. Somehow, I don’t think these goals are the goals that God would have for our children.
Hannah, Samuel’s mom, loved him very much. She loved him so much that she gave him up at the age of 3 to learn the ways of the Lord from Eli the priest. She had prayed for a child, being barren, and promised to give him to the Lord. She kept that promise. Her sacrifice of not being the one to raise her son was one of the greatest sacrifices a parent can make. Why did she do it? Because she knew her son’s relationship with God was of the utmost importance. For Samuel to turn out to be a great man of God was worth all the moments she missed in raising him. Her child was a gift from God, not a possession to hold onto. To see a son or daughter love the Lord and walk in His ways is the greatest joy a parent can have. Therefore, the question must again be asked: what is your goal for your children?
If your goal is for them to become strong and faithful Christians; what are you doing about it? Are you praying for them daily? Teaching them from the Scriptures? Putting church activities over sports and entertainment? Are you endeavoring to show them how God’s word applies to every situation in life? The Bible speaks of a parent’s influence in their child’s spiritual outcome. How are you doing?
The Rev. Bruce MacInnes is pastor at Turner’s Chapel.