“Teach us what we shall do with the child that shall be born.”
Judges 13: 8
“How to Raise a Child”
“Before I was married I had three theories about raising children. Now I have three children and no theories.”
Earl of Rochester
Have I asked for God’s advice and help in my relationships with my children and family members?”
“Children aren’t fooled. They know we give time to the things we love.”
“If you are not willing to make time for your children, then every other piece of advice you get is meaningless.”
Recently someone asked my mom if she would consider writing a book on raising children. I’m surprised you can’t still hear her laughing, no matter where you happen to live in the world. As she told me, “The older I get, the quieter I am about child rearing for it is by the grace of God that children are raised.”
In the materialistic world in which we live today, it seems that sometimes having a baby is like purchasing a sofa. We want something pretty, comfortable, and most of all, trouble-free. Finally, when our “bundle of joy” arrives, the newness wears off real fast especially if the child we are blessed with, doesn’t live up to our expectations.
After Jim and I found out I couldn’t have a baby, we discussed adopting a child. However, we understood that bringing a child into our home would require a great deal of thought and prayer. One day, with no warning, we received a call from a physician who said, “You have two hours to make up your mind for I have a baby that needs a home right now.” I’ll never forget what Jim said as we discussed this opportunity. “Dorothy, a child isn’t like purchasing a used car. You don’t return a child.” At that point in our lives, because of commitments we had made to others and after praying about our decision, we believed it would have been selfish for us to take on the care of a baby that needed full-time parents.
While I have longed for a baby many times in my life, I have come to realize that
God had another path for Jim and me, a path that has led us to have many children in our lives. Whether it has been nephews and nieces who had parents who abandoned them or were ill and died, our life has been filled with young ones who count on us and rely on us to this very day.
Like Manoah and his wife, “Faithful,” I have found that asking for heavenly wisdom in raising children helps builds a foundation which lasts throughout eternity.
How blessed we are that in the story of one of the most colorful and complicated characters in Scripture, Samson, God provides us with insight into the role of parents, as well as the confidence to know He will stand by the side of every mom and dad to teach them if they wait upon their heavenly Father.
Samson’s parents clearly recognized having a child wasn’t adding a new possession to their list of assets. As Johann von Goethe so aptly notes, “We can’t form our children on our own concepts; we must take them and love them as God gives them to us.”
How do we raise our children? We follow the example of Manoah and “Faithful” who first and above all asked their heavenly Father, “teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born” (Judges 13: 8, N.I.V.).
“Parents teach in the toughest school in the world – The School for Making People. You are the Board of Education, the principal, the classroom teacher, and the janitor.”
“Heavenly Father, from whom all parenthood comes, teach us so to understand our children that they may grow in Your wisdom and love according to Your holy will.
Fill us with sensitive respect for the great gift of human life which You have committed to our care; help us to listen with patience to their worries and problems, and give us the tolerance to allow them to develop as individuals. For Your name’s sake.”
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, ChristianBook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeets jesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal.
If you would like to purchase When A Woman Meets Jesus at a 30%-50% quantity discount for your Women’s Ministry Program or for Bible Study Groups, please visit: www.direct2church.com or email [email protected].
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.