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Give your children early to the Lord

I urge you to give your child early to the Lord, as Hannah did, and as Abraham did.

1 Samuel 1:21-28 When her husband Elkanah went up with all his family to offer the annual sacrifice to the LORD and to fulfill his vow, Hannah did not go. She said to her husband, “After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the LORD, and he will live there always. “Do what seems best to you,” her husband Elkanah told her. “Stay here until you have weaned him; only may the LORD make good his word.” So the woman stayed at home and nursed her son until she had weaned him. After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh.When the bull had been sacrificed, they brought the boy to Eli,and she said to him, “Pardon me, my lord. As surely as you live, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the LORD.I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there.

Hannah nursed her son Samuel and gave him to the Lord. In Exodus chapter 2 verse nine we read “take this child and nurse him for me.’ That is, for the Lord. The earlier you realize the child is not your’s, but the Lord’s, the better. You are to do the feeding, caring, teaching and training FOR the Lord, for the child to serve the Lord. The child is not yours nor is it for yourself or your agenda. We read later what Samuel did for the Lord. Hannah had no idea, of course, while she prayed for him nursed him and gave him to the Lord what would follow in his life of service to the Lord. This is an example for us to see far ahead for your children. See what they can do for the Lord by faith. See that they are not yours, nor are they for you. See beyond the present moment, the diapers, the crying spells. It is true that we are creatures of time and as a result, we tend to only think in the moment, not seeing what is the long-term outcome. We are, after all, sentient self-centered creatures and tend to focus on our own feelings and experiences. We have to deny ourselves in our parenting and see that we are stewards for the child’s good and for the Lord.

Let us now look at the example of Abraham and his son Isaac. Gen 22:2-11 says, “Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife.

As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Give your child to God. See your care for him as a steward, as serving God’s purpose in the child’s life. You are a missionary on a mission to this child for God. To do this, you must first present yourself to the Lord as a servant. We see Abraham doing this in Genesis 22 verses 1 and 11. God calls to him, and he says “here I am” both times. That is what a servant says. We see this response also from Samuel, in 1 Samuel chapter 3 verses four, five, six, and eight. Four times Samuel says “here I am.” Again, that is what a servant says. Both Abraham and Samuel presented themselves to the Lord. That is what a servant does. We do not dictate to God, we do not qualify what we do for him. Rather, God dictates to us.

To give our child to the Lord, we must give ourselves first to him. Yield yourselves to him as it says in Romans 12:1-2, as a living sacrifice, that is, saying “here I am Lord.”

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

First you must belong to God in order for you to give your child to God. I urge you again, do this early.

© Marie-Celine Farver RN BSN IBCLC RLC 2014

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