I remember the day we got the news that we would be first time parents.
We were in the hospital room when the doctor casually strolled in with the results. Our hearts were racing as we were expecting balloons or confetti. But instead, he didn’t even look up from the chart as he plainly said something to the effect of, “Yep. You are going to have a baby.”
He said it so quietly I had to actually ask him to repeat it. My heart jumped into my throat. This was huge news! He looked up and started to chuckle.
“I guess I do this a lot,” he said smiling.
All I could respond with was, “I don’t.”
Nine months later, our lives would change forever.
If you have had kids, you have a story to tell too. One that is your own.
Samson’s parents had a story too. A unique one. But it is not just a crazy story of their son. It is also a story that speaks to each of us as parents.
Manoah and his wife could not have children. This is a painful way to start. Many couples in the world have faced this reality. Sometimes there are reasons, sometimes there are not. Whatever your story is, this couple can relate.
Then the man of God shows up and tells them they were about to have a son. This is crazy good news. There were excited.
But their story teaches us more than the miracle of them having a child.
They were given a dream
With the reality of not being able to have children, this was a dream come true for them. To not have a child to carry on your family line was sad. This would no longer be their story.
As parents, we have dreams for our kids. These dreams include aspects of their character, their futures, their jobs, and so on. Dreams for our kids are good. They give us hope that our kids will do something amazing in the world around them. No parent starts out by having dreams of their child staying at home and playing video games on the couch until he is 35 years old.
We want our kids to live life. We want them to be awesome.
Their dreams would have been very similar.
They were given a calling
The dreams quickly got real as the messenger told them exactly what their son would do.
He would free his people from their enemies.
That’s a big calling. That’s an important calling.
Just think of what it would feel like to be told that your bun in the oven would one day go on to be a leader within your nation.
How huge is that?!
In reality, very few of us are ever told exactly what our kids will become. And maybe that’s a good thing. I wonder how many of us as parents would just get in the way of God’s call in their lives.
These parents had to try to do their best to raise a future leader.
They were given the instruction manual
The best thing these two newbies did was ask God to tell them how to raise this child.
As a parent, I have come to realize how little I actually know about parenting. It often feels like I am an amateur expected to play in a professional sport.
How many times have I wished that God would have sent an instruction manual with each kid?
These two got one.
It was simple.
Follow those and all will be good, right?
In truth, we have been given an instruction manual. The Bible is filled with Godly advice on how to raise our kids.
Verses on how to be patient, loving, forgiving, self-sacrificing and more. If ever there was a manual for raising our kids, it’s the Bible.
It may have a few more than three rules to it, but it is worth the read.
Then they got Samson
Just like us, Manoah and his wife had at least nine months to prepare.
I can just imagine what it looked like as they got their tent ready. Manoah building a crib. His wife preparing blankets and clothing.
Then it happened. Their dream became reality. They were holding their son.
I can see the smiles on their faces being fueled by the calling and joy in their hearts.
Then Samson grew up, and the little heart stealer became a pain in the neck. In fact, it seems as though everything that Samson does is in direct contrast to the calling he was supposed to fulfill.
Imagine Manoah now. All the angst. All the frustration. All the questions.
His hair receding as Samson’s was growing.
“This isn’t how it’s supposed to be! Right?”
As a parent, he did the only thing he could do: He let God take care of his son.
This is a hard part of the journey, and I am in no way suggesting that parents not be involved in the adult lives of their children. But how involved is the question.
That little spark of joy we heard about all those years ago in that hospital room just turned 13. That means that as her father, I have only about 5-7 more years of her being under my roof. From then on, even though she will always be my Sunshine, she will enter into a life of her own.
I am sure that I will have a lot of questions then.
Will she be ready?
Have I done enough?
Did I teach her how to do this or that?
How will I know she will be safe?
The truth is I can only do so much.
But there is One Who can and will do so much more than all we ask or imagine. He is our Heavenly Father, which means He is their Heavenly Father too.
I don’t know for sure, but I wonder if Samson’s parents ever wondered if he would figure it out. God knew where He wanted Samson to be physically and spiritually so that He could do the work that only He, as his Heavenly Father, could do.
That was a place that his earthly father would have never taken him. But it was in that place where Samson found his true calling.
If your kids have moved on from your home, it’s not too late to ask them what God is doing in their lives. Share the journey with them.
And if you are like me, you have a few more years and a few more kids to invest in.
Don’t waste your time.
God has a calling for your kids. And He gave them to you. That means He trusts you with a very special gift.
Ask God and imagine with Him who He wants them to be. Read His instruction manual, and see where He will take your family physically and spiritually.
You might lose some hair along the way, but in the end the journey will be worth it.
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