We are told that Samuel was a man of God, and at the end of his life, no one could find fault with him, but his sons were another story. Their description is: “But his sons did not walk in his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice” (1 Samuel 8:3).
We have no idea what happened with Samuel’s sons. Was he too busy and away from home too much? Did he spoil his sons by giving them anything and everything? Did he and his wife leave them to work out their problems and fail to teach them how to resolve their challenges? Most of all, did they fail to teach them how to love and follow God?
Raising a family today is a challenging task. Many young parents are overwhelmed with parenting and are very discouraged. They are dealing with marital conflict, financial problems, life problems, and disagreement in a parenting style. Add to this that many young couples are isolated from extended families, making them feel all alone.
However, God wants the family to succeed. After all, it was his idea. The scriptures are encouraging, and when we ask God for wisdom, he will not deny us. James writes: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).
Our task is to lovingly and positively teach the children God has given us. They belong to Him, and they are on loan from him. We must prepare them to fight their spiritual battles in a dangerous world with reasonable arguments that make sense to them. We are to pray over them daily. To succeed at this task, parents must establish their God-given authority and don’t allow it to be usurped by the school, culture, or their own children. We have been given the greatest responsibility and privilege. We have not been asked to be their best friends but their parents.