This is the most important role you occupy: mentoring that child the Lord has placed under your influence. Lean into God, ask him for guidance, then submit to his wisdom and you will bring up a child with whom God will be well pleased. And never, ever forget, even when they try to prove it wrong, your child was designed and built by God himself with the seeds of greatness implanted within their genetic code.
Going Deep // Focus: Judges 13:12-14
So Manoah asked him, “When your words come true, what kind of rules should govern the boy’s life and work?” The angel of the Lord replied, “Be sure your wife follows the instructions I gave her. She must not eat grapes or raisins, drink wine or any other alcoholic drink, or eat any forbidden food.”
It may not be as dramatic as the visit Manoah and his wife received from the angel of the Lord. A mighty divine messenger probably won’t appear to you and freak you out. It is not likely that he will consume with fire the thanksgiving sacrifice you set before him. But your child is every bit as important to God as Samson was.
God would use Samson as one of the greatest deliverers of Israel the nation was to ever know. The stories of his battles with the Philistines are epic. His life was the stuff many movies and a few books have retold over the ages. So to be sure, this family, and this baby that the angel of the Lord showed up in such an unforgettable way to announce, was going to become an altogether unique script in the religious history of Israel.
Yet I say again, the child that God gives you is no less important to God. That would be true of your grandchildren, too. It is also true of the children in your church, or your neighborhood, or in the classroom you manage. God has an indescribable love for them; he has plans for them that are beyond exciting; he has designed and built them with the seeds of greatness. Unlimited potential resides within their DNA.
Now it is up to you as a parent, grandparent or mentor, to figure out how to water those seeds of greatness in that child. That is a huge and sobering challenge, and you would do well to ask the Lord how he wants you to go about your task, as Manoah and his wife did in Judges 13:12. They asked the angel, “give us the guidelines for growing this child into a great man!”
God has guidelines for you to follow, too. They are found primarily in his word. The whole of the Bible is an amazing guide for understanding the law of the Lord. Especially helpful is the book of Proverbs, which will show you day by day the way to inculcate wisdom, knowledge and understanding into your child’s heart and mind. Another source of help is the Holy Spirit. Asking him daily in prayer to show you your child’s glidepath is a privilege you have because of your relationship with God. Just ask him, submit to him, expect his help, and God the Holy Spirit will walk with you as you train up your child in the way he or she should go. And then there is the body of Christ—men, woman, grandparents, pastors, class leaders and the parenting resources they offer are an incredibly helpful resource of parental richness that you would do well to tap into.
This is the most important role you occupy: mentoring that child the Lord has placed under your influence. Lean into God, ask him for guidance, then submit to his wisdom and you will bring up a child with whom God will be well pleased.
And never, ever forget, even when they try to prove it wrong, your child was designed and built by God himself with the seeds of greatness implanted within their genetic code.