Saturday, December 27, 2008

How Shall We Order the Child? ~ Part One

In Judges 13 begins the story of Samson.  Like many other new parents, Samson’s mother and father desired to have the Lord tell them exactly how they were to raise this child.  “God, what is your will? How shall we diaper him, Lord? Cloth or disposable?  How should we spank correctly? Private school or public school, Lord? How can I teach him to respect and obey me?  And, Lord, how shall I teach him to respect and obey YOU?”

The response the Lord gave to Manoah and his wife was, I am certain, not the kind of answer they were expecting to hear. Here is their conversation, in short, in Judges 13:12-14:

“How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him? And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Of all that I said unto the woman let her beware. She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe.”

The answer to the question, how shall we order the child was, in essence, that the mother was to keep herself holy and separated and obedient unto the Lord!  The diapering method and the child’s training and discipline were not going to be nearly as important in the life of that child as the influence of a godly mother was going to be!

To me, this is a sobering truth. No amount of correcting, training, reading aloud, giving of advice, counseling, yelling, spoiling, caressing, or reasoning with my child will have a greater influence in his/her life than will my example as a mother who is wholly given to the Lord.  How will my child know that I love the Lord who gave him to me?  He will know when he sees me committed to reading (and obeying) my Bible.  He will know when I consistently fall to my knees in prayer, rather than worrying or fretting.  He will know when he sees that I am committed to learning and memorizing and acting upon God’s word.  He will know when he sees that I am repentant –not making excuses-- when I do wrong.  He will know when I bundle him up and take him and his siblings to church on a cold, sleepy morning.  He will know when I accept a difficult situation as if it is from the Lord, and thank him for it.  He will know when he hears me break out into singing God’s praises.  He will know, because in my consecration to the Lord I draw my child to the Lord.

A six-foot shelf full of child-training books will not teach me to raise my children the way living a godly life will.  “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day,” Proverbs 4:19.   The closer I get to the Lord, the more I obey his Word and seek his face, the clearer will be God’s will for my child’s upbringing.

Rather than fretting over whether God wants my girls to have music lessons, or how to get them to apply themselves to their schoolwork, or when is a decent hour for bed-time for my children, I am resolved instead to keep fellowship with God.  His working in MY heart and in MY life is the answer to all my questions concerning the children he has blessed me with!


  1. Excellent and so very true! That's how I try to train up our girls, such a sobering responsibility.

  2. Amen! I can attest to this fact. I homeschooled my daughter and we started each day reading the Bible and discussing what we read. She is 22 now and I am blessed to have so many people say such kind things about her. She is a Godly young woman who loves the Lord and I had a lady in her 50's tell me one day, "I want to be like her when I grow up!" This really touched my heart and I thanked the Lord.

    May God bless you as you follow His Word!



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