Posts Tagged ‘Nazirite’



December 23, 2012

“O Lord, please let the man of God whom you sent come again to us and teach us what we are to do with the child who will be born.” Judges 13:8

I think this is the prayer of every parent’s heart. We parents feel the incredible responsibility of raising and nurturing another life.  No responsible parent wants to fail at that task. One has to only investigate the parenting section of a bookstore to see that there is a significant demand for the answer to this question. Psychology has a whole branch devoted to investigating and researching child development to answer this question. Science is employed to discover the right methodology for raising our children to become well-adjusted adults.

I suspect that every responsible parent has looked at the precious little life asleep in those dark hours with a sense of fear and self-doubt – “I don’t want to screw this up. What am I to do with this child”.

It is the manufacturer’s operating manual that we seek. We want to be taught what to do with this child who has been given to us. The story of Samson encourages and discourages me. It reveals a reluctance in my heart to trust God. I want a guarantee; I want a standard operating procedure that will ensure the salvation of my child, if diligently followed. Unfortunately, the scriptures do not give such a guarantee.

Samson came from a home of devoted and dedicated parents who believed the promises of God. Yet, Samson was far from a Godly man. So, what went wrong with Samson? What did his parents do wrong?  Here is the hard part – probably nothing.  I have heard some teach that Samson’s parents were too indulgent.  They may have been. It is equally possible that his parents were not indulgent enough since they raised him as a Nazarite.  I am not sure how being over-indulging and the requirements of a Nazarite vow go together. However, look at how easy it is to fall into the “methodology mindset”. If Samson’s parents had only followed the right method, then Samson would have turned out different.  The problem with the methodology mindset is that we are missing a key ingredient – God.

The Blinded SamsonI don’t believe that God looks at Samson with a shrug and goes, “that is too bad; not what I really had planned but I guess it will have to do – if only Samson’s parents had done a better job.”  I believe that Samson was clay in the master potter’s hand from his conception and that his life played out exactly as God had intended.

Nothing went wrong.

Each and every person is responsible to God for the decisions that they make, there is nothing that we parents can do to program our children’s hearts to get the decisions that we want.

That can either discourage or encourage us.  I choose to be encouraged.  I have screwed up a lot of things in my life.  I have been like Samson more times than I care to remember. I don’t have to worry about screwing up my kids’ faith but that doesn’t mean I am relieved of any responsibility.  Parents are one of the tools the Master Potter uses.  My Dad gave me some simple advice when I became a father.  I have modified it a bit but here it is:

Love God with all that I am,

Love my kids as myself,

Love my neighbors as myself,

Teach my kids how wonderful God is,

Train them how to follow God,

Do the best I can and trust God.

God is faithful and good.  My kids’ faith is too precious for God to leave in my hands as a sinful parent.  My kids are in the hands of their Creator; the hands of the Master Potter. The question for me is whether I trust him to mold them into what he has planned for them.

God is good and he knows what he is doing. There is no need to fear.

PRAYER: Father – Thank you for the precious gift of my children that you have given me.  Lord, I know that their lives are in your hands. I know that nothing is impossible for you. Lord, I pray for their salvation; draw them to yourself; set them apart as your children; give them hearts that are wholly devoted to you.  Lord, may they glorify you all of their days.  Father, help me to be a faithful parent to them; teach me how to teach them.  May they look upon my faith and desire to emulate that. Keep my feet upon the rock; don’t let me stumble.   Amen

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