So you are going to be a new mom or dad. What are you thinking about as you now recognize this new idea?
Judges 13 We love seeing and cooing and holding a newborn but at 3 a.m. when the wee one is screaming and you can’t determine what is wrong you find yourself wondering where is the manual to answer all of your questions. Forward-thinking Manoah, a godly Danite, heard the news that Mrs. Manoah would soon give him a son. He didn’t question the answer but set out to get help to raise this miracle soon to be born.
Wisely Manoah didn’t go to the nearest library or the nearest midwife but to God alone. He prayed that God would return the messenger so he could ask about the manual he could read ahead of time. He wanted to know how they should raise this child. God answered this godly soon-to-be parent with this counsel: Follow what I told your wife the first time. At this point, we want to give a high five to Mrs. Mom! She had repeated what the messenger had said but Mr. Dad needed to hear it straight. This child is to be a Nazirite from birth and therefore she is to live a Nazirite life as well. That meant no wine, no grape juice, no raisins, and no hair cuts! He is to be dedicated to God from birth until the day he dies.
Like many new-to-be parents, Mr. and Mrs. Manoah most likely followed the angel’s words to the letter: “Train a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” [Pro 22:6] So as we read on in the story we can understand their perplexed state because Samson did not “follow the rules.” Like many today who parent a child who lives and moves outside the mainstream, they begin to wonder if they had done something wrong since Samson lived a less than illustrious life. Yet, even as Samson seemed a failure in his parent’s eyes, we find in the next chapter these words:
Now his father and mother did not realize this was the Lord’s doing.
Instead, God would use him as the first of several judges to begin to deliver the Israelites from the Philistines.
Take a lesson from Manoah; seek God’s direction, obey the word of the Lord, but mostly don’t give up on your children. God may be using them as He used Samson, even though we don’t understand the how or the why.
Parenting is a tough road. Study Proverbs and Psalm 78 for more answers when you are tearing your hair out. Keep on your knees for your children 24/7 so you can hear “well done thou good and faithful servant.” Like Manoah seek God’s direction on “how to raise this child.” Judges 13:8!