I’m so thankful for the Bible. I’m glad that it doesn’t hide anything from us and helps guide us both into what to do as well as what not to do. One example of this is found in Judges 13, the story of Sampson. While there is so much to learn from Sampson himself, I want to take a look at Sampson’s parents.
The Bible tells us that Manoah and his wife were unable to conceive and they longed for a baby. An angel appeared to Manoah’s wife one day and told her that not only were they going to have a baby but that their son would be set apart for God and would rescue Israel from the Philistines! The angel gave her some specific directions on how she and her son were required to live in order to honor the Nazarite oath.
Manoah and his wife so desperately wanted a child that they were willing to do anything that the angel told them to do. They followed the directions to the letter. They were well aware of how to physically set Sampson apart for God but I don’t think they understood their responsibility as his parents to also teach him how to set himself apart spiritually.
It’s completely understandable though because they were a part of a generation that was considered evil in God’s eyes so they may not have had any examples set before them on how they should raise their son. I believe they were doing the very best they could in how they raised Sampson and we all know that even though they didn’t really know what they were doing, God did and he chose them as Sampson’s parents.
I think that Sampson’s parents were probably older than typical parents of that time and since they didn’t ever think they would have a son they wanted to make the most of the gift they had been given. Because of that they probably prioritized Sampson’s happiness over the call that God had put on his life. Again, not on purpose but because all parents want their kids to be happy in life. Although there isn’t anything wrong with our kids being happy it’s really important that we don’t make happiness a priority over raising them to be who God created them to be.
Because of Sampson’s parents’ mistakes, Sampson learn how to work the system to get what he wanted even if it wasn’t good for him. He wasted the gifts and strength that God had given him on practical jokes and revenge when things didn’t go his way. Eventually, he even gave up his own oath to God entirely for his own human pleasure that he found in a Philistine woman.
This is why I’m so thankful for the Bible, we can do better with our kids because now we know better. We can help our kids to live out all that God has called them to do and help them to leave a legacy that others want to follow by learning from a few mistakes that Manoah and his wife made. We can help our kids know how to honor their own oaths to God by teaching them to…
- Use their gifts and abilities from God with wisdom and responsibility
- To not give in to short term pleasures or happiness over the joy and honor that comes from fulfilling the call of God on their lives
- Control their own will in favor of God’s will for them
- To not confide in the wrong people and better yet to surround themselves with the right spouces, friends and influencers
It’s such a great honor from God to be a parent and I want to do the best I can to help my kids become exactly who God has made them to be. I know you do too!