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Train up a Child

1 Samuel 1:19b-28

In time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a bouncing baby boy whom she named Samuel. Samuel is a Hebrew name meaning “heard by God”. How fitting that his name was called Samuel; his mother had poured out her soul to the LORD, He heard her cries and blessed her with a son. Ladies, here is absolute proof that God does hear our prayers. When Hannah prayed to the LORD for this child, she promised that if He would grant her a male son, she would give this son back to Him and that the child would be a Nazirite. In Hannah’s giving her son back to the Lord, she didn’t just mean for a specified time frame or when he turned 18 and was ready to go out on his own. Hannah meant to give her child to the LORD when he was weaned from her, around age 2 or 3 years of age, and her gift to the LORD would be for a lifetime. Whoa! Can you imagine promising God to give Him your precious child at age 2 or 3?

I can just picture Hannah rocking this baby, the one whom she had prayed fervently for, whispering in his little ears that he was going to do mighty things for the LORD. I can see her at night leaning over his cradle praying God’s protection over his life. As they took walks, I can hear her telling little Samuel about the God who created the beautiful world around them and telling him that he was going to have the privilege to serve God all the days of his life. During playtime, I just imagine she told him that God was going to make him very, very strong; a mighty warrior in the King’s army. I can see her teaching those little knees to kneel in reverence and honor of the One who granted him life.

Two to three years. Not a long time, but long enough for God to work in the heart of Hannah, preparing her for the day she would present her son to Eli the priest and to the LORD. When the time came Hannah, with the strength found only in the Lord, made her way to Shiloh to the house of the LORD. She brought with her three bulls, and ephah of flour, and a skin of wine to offer to the LORD. According to Numbers 15:8-10, these items were to be sacrificed in fulfillment of a vow. Hannah brought all three in a larger measure than what was required of her. She brought little Samuel with her and together they presented this offering to the LORD. Not only did Hannah offer her sacrifice to the LORD, but she presented her son, Samuel, as an offering to Eli and ultimately to God. Hannah had prayed for so long for God to give her a son and now she is willing giving him back to the Giver of all blessings.

What strength, what faith, what love, we see in the heart of this mother for her child. Samuel was a precious gift God had blessed her with, but not only that, in Hannah’s eyes, he was a precious gift she could offer to her God. For the two or three years Hannah had the privilege to care for her son one on one, she made a huge impact on him. Hannah taught little Samuel about faith in God, about sacrifice, and unconditional love. Hannah used the time she had with him to begin preparing him for service to the Lord. God, most likely, isn’t going to ask us to take our children to the church and leave them there to be raised by the pastors (although there have been times when the thought has crossed my mind J), but we must give them to God in other, equally important ways. God has big plans for our children and it’s our job to begin now preparing them for what He has in store for them. Hannah made a vow to the LORD and when the time came she fulfilled her vow with a mother’s sacrifice.

Questions to Answer- Thoughts to Ponder
What are you doing to prepare your children for service to God? Are you teaching them to turn to God with everything? Are you teaching them to respect and honor God in all things? Are you praying God’s will for their lives? Are you teaching them to see God’s hand in all things?

We have a huge responsibility to God, who gave us these precious treasures, to lead them to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength.

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6, NKJV

2 Lovely Thoughts Shared:

Cheri said...

Oh! I love this post. When you said Hannah saw her son as a gift to the Lord not only a gift from the Lord. I had never quite thought of it like that before. If I train my children in the way they should go then they can be a gift for God to use. Yes!!

Thank you so much for putting it in such a way that I get it!

Amy Wyatt said...

Thank you for these thoughts and this challenge. I try very hard to teach Spencer about what God did for him at birth and how he owes his life to Him... but don't we all owe our lives to Him. I pray for God to use him everyday; and to help me be the mother I need to be to help prepare him for whatever God has in store for his life. Thank you for reminding me to look to this example in the Bible that God has given us for how to raise our children.