What we can learn from Sampson’s parents.

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!

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I’m not raising my kids to be good adults.

I’m hosting a family grow group at my church tonight on mistakes that parents can avoid so in honor of that I am going to share a little bit of my perspective on raising my own kids.

I think a general accepted goal of most parents is to raise kids that turn out to be good adults but that’s not my goal at all. I want to raise kids that are ready to stand before God. The thing is none of us know what tomorrow will bring for our kids here on earth but no matter what I know that someday they will defiantly be standing before God. I know that they will be held accountable for their life no matter how long or short it may be. I want them to be ready for that day at any age.

I do want them to do well in school, I want them to work hard and learn a lot, but not so that they will get into a great university or get a good job when they are older but instead so that they will be prepared and equipped for the things that God calls them to do. I don’t want them to be thinking, I’ll do the things God has for me some day when I grow up, but instead I want them to be prepared for what God has for each of them right now and for all the days to come. I believe that their lives have an impact on the world around them no matter how old they are. It’s important that they are aware and ready to be used by God at any age.

I also want my kids to learn how to make friends and learn how to get along with with difficult people. Not just because it will help them to succeed in their careers but because people matter to God (even the difficult ones). I want people to matter to my kids too.

I’m not preparing my kids to be good adults (although they will be) and I’m not preparing them to be world changers (although they will be that too). I’m preparing my kids to stand before God one day so that they will be able to hear him say to them well done, good and faithful servant.

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