[French Translation] [Spanish Translation] It could possibly be that because people hear about how I started serving the Lord from a young age, I get a lot of questions when I travel; majority of them are from passionate mothers who want to see their children serve Jesus, too. They want to know what my mother did to bring me up. Last week, if you missed I wrote on, 7 Truths for Mothers in Battle.
One of the greatest biblical examples of a mother bringing up a child to be a man of God is, without a doubt, the life of Hannah and Samuel. Here are a few lessons we can learn from them to see your children grow as great generals of God.
Hannah Lived the Basics First
In the first two chapters of 1 Samuel, you can see how strong Hannah was. To start with, she was content with her husband. She knew her miracle still was in the hands of God which is why she went to the temple with her request. You know a wise woman when she knows that it is only at the throne room of heaven is where the source of her miracle is. She knew the effectiveness of prayer, fasting and weeping. And most of all, she knew to praise God when all seemed wrong (1 Samuel 2)
Remember, your children learn from you. I learnt from my mom that no matter what goes wrong, you go to God! She showed us through her example what it was to be a faithful, humble and submissive wife. I have come back home from my school just to see my mother, lost in worshiping God all over the house. I have seen my mother weep for hours at the feet of Jesus. She taught me the power of fasting. She encouraged me to fast one meal even when I was young.
What lessons are your children learning from your life?
Hannah Dedicated Him 100%
In the Old Testament, to give your tithe meant giving one tenth of what is yours. Hannah did not dedicate just ten percent of Samuel; she gave him up fully to God. You cannot have your children adrift on two boats. If you are going to teach your children compromised standards then that’s what they will learn. But if you teach them complete surrender then that’s what they will learn.
Guide your children to guard their heart from the things of the world. Teach them what consecration is, right from their young age. Do not simply restrain them from doing certain things but sit down with them and tell them why you want them to focus on the things of God more than the world.
Hannah Weaned Him to Fullness
There is a role that a mother can play in a child’s life that no pastor, teacher or bible college lecturer can play. Hannah waited till Samuel was ready to be by himself at the temple. (Theologians suggest that Samuel was between 4-7years of age when Hannah left him at the temple)
I cannot thank my mother enough for the Bible training she gave me. Recently while talking to an unbeliever who was a Malayalam-speaking brother, I found myself quoting so many scriptures in Malayalam even though I don’t read the language myself. I realized that when I was young, my mother kept repeating those verses to me that subconsciously, I had memorized it and was used when in need.
Teach your children the verses that God speaks into your heart. Need not necessarily mean that you ask them to learn them by heart (which, by the way, is good), but keep sowing the seed of scripture into them at every given opportunity. Take heed to have fun with them, too. Do not get to nagging.
Hannah Protected Him
Yes, I believe that so much! Imagine Hannah encouraging Samuel to become a successful musician. I would think then being a priest would be the last thought in Samuel’s mind. She had to be careful with what she exposed him to. She protected him from dreams that would lead him astray. She protected him from friends that would take him away from God.
I also believe that if Hannah would have lived in this era, she would have protected him from TV channels that have cartoons that beat each other up. What are you protecting your children from? Do you say it is ok they will learn? Fact is no, they won’t learn by themselves.
I am deeply saddened to see parents give their 4 and 5 year old children mobile phones. Do they really need that? The last time I remembered needing a phone was when I was 18. And of course, my Dad did not need it till he was 40. My grandparents did not need it at all. But, really, do your young children really need these distractions? If there is a real need, yes please go ahead, but remember that God has made you the steward to protect your child.
Hannah Exposed Him to God’s Presence
We have seen many young kids who possess exceptionally good oratory skills and can preach a sermon from memory. Majority of those kids do not really enter the ministry when they grow up. Please understand this, what God begins, God will sustain. What man begins, he will have to struggle to hold it up.
I remember the first time I was asked to preach when I was 7 years old, I ran to mom to ask her what I should preach. She bent down to me and said, “Never ask a man what you should preach, ask the Holy Spirit” and she sent me to the bedroom to pray. And while the others waited to hear me preach, I came back from my room to share few minutes of what had inspired my heart. My mother always said, “When you are done telling them what God said, sit down”
Hannah did not make little Samuel a prophet or priest. Hannah simply took Samuel to where he truly belonged, The Presence of God. And in that place of lying near the ark (the presence of God), Samuel had an encounter with God.
I believe that this is the most important part of moulding a general of God in your family. It is not to teach them what to preach, it is teach them to love the Word of God. It is not to teach them how to prophesy, it is to teach them how to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Oh yes, you can correct their ways or mistakes but do not feed them what to say. Allow them to learn in the presence of the Holy Spirit, that way they learn to depend on the Holy Spirit even without you around.
Last night while I was in prayer, standing on my balcony many thoughts crossed my mind. My mother lives just 5 minutes away from where we live. I stood there and realized that so much had happened in the years gone by; so much had changed. Our lives had got so busy over past few years with all the travelling. But one thing that I cherish most is her continual support. It has been 17 years into ministry now but I still need her prayers and support. I am thankful to God that I am blessed by a praying wife as well. I am certain she will be a great mother to our children.
Question: What are your thoughts on mothers raising prophets? Share below.