We love to see our children growing, don’t we? Right from birth we are excited to see each new development. It is so rewarding to see our daughters grow up to be graceful women of God and our sons to be strong young men who really know how to be men! All my sons are over six feet, my oldest son is 6’ 8”. And now the grandsons are all growing up over six feet, many of them about 6’ 5”.
However, we don’t only want to see them grow in physical stature, but in spiritual stature. This is our greatest vision and longing, isn’t it?
I was reading about Samuel this morning and noticed how the Bible records his growth. God is interesting in the physical and spiritual growth of our children.
1. HE GREW
1 Samuel 2:21 says: “And the child Samuel GREW before the Lord.” The phrase “before the LORD” in the King James Version means “in the presence of the Lord.” The HCSB and ESV and other versions translate it: “The boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD.” Don’t’ those words really get to you? They certainly challenge me. It is not enough for our children to grow up in our presence, but they should grow up in the presence of the Lord.
I love the Young’s Literal translation which states: “And the youth Samuel groweth up with Jehovah.” He grew up with God. Isn’t that amazing? Isn’t this what we want for our children?
Motherhood is far more than feeding and clothing our children. It is creating an atmosphere where the presence of God reigns in our home. Our children should feel and be aware of the presence of the Lord. It’s in this atmosphere that they “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:18).
2. HE GREW ON
2 Samuel 2:26 says: “And the child Samuel GREW ON and was in favor both with the LORD, and with men.” We certainly want this for our children, don’t we?
3. HE GREW AND THE LORD WAS WITH HIM
1 Samuel 3:19: “And Samuel GREW, AND THE LORD WAS WITH HIM, and did let none of his words fall to the ground.” What a beautiful testimony. Oh, that our children will grow up knowing the power and presence of the Lord with them in every aspect of their lives. This is the ultimate vision for our parenting.
Of course, you know the story of how God came to Samuel and spoke to him in the night (1 Samuel 3:1-21). The historian Josephus says that Samuel would have been about twelve years old when God called him and spoke to him about Eli and his sons. It’s interesting that Jesus was also twelve years old when his parents found him “in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers” (Luke 2:46, 47).
Are we raising our children for maturity? Are they familiar with hearing the voice of God? Are they able to discuss the truths and doctrines of the Word? As we notice their physical growth, we should also see their spiritual growth. I am amazed that so many adult Christians don’t even know God’s Word. How will their children know if they don’t know?
How will our children become used to hearing the voice of God through His Word if we don’t read it to them daily in our family devotions time? If we don’t encourage them to also read it personally every day and listen for God to speak to them?
Let’s raise children who are not only growing up physically, but growing up spiritually—growing up in God, growing up in the presence of God, growing up hearing His voice, growing up familiar with His Word and familiar with prayer.
Amen! (With an exclamation mark)!
Love to you today,