1 Samuel 17
Continuing on with our story of David and Goliath here, there are a few keys points we can glean from David’s preparation to meet the giant. First of all, David realized that the Lord had been preparing him for this moment for a long time. By tending sheep, the Lord had given David the perfect training ground for the battle he was facing. Take a minute to think how the Lord has prepared you for raising your kids in our current climate. What experiences has He allowed you to have that are going to be helpful as you guide your kids through the minefields of our culture?
Sometimes we don’t always realize the hardships or trials the Lord allows (the bears and lions God allowed to attack David’s sheep) are actually necessary for our spiritual development. Hindsight is always 20/20, so looking back and realizing the things God has ordained for us to experience is quite incredible (Romans 8:28). He certainly knows what He is doing. Even the things the enemy intends for evil, God can use for our good (Genesis 50:20). What I think is significantly pertinent to us as parents right now is the fact that David didn’t wallow in the hardship of the situation but honestly acknowledged that God always prepares His people for His calling. Put another way, God doesn’t expect you to run a marathon without some training.
Perhaps you are sitting there realizing that maybe you didn’t take the training the Lord offered seriously or you failed to fulfill it. Let me encourage you: God can get you up to speed. Read 1 John 1:9 and pray these words to the Lord. Acknowledge where you have gone wrong and ask the Lord to forgive and show you how to move on.
Another key point I see from this story is when Saul offered David his armor, David realized it wasn’t right for him. He didn’t want to use it because he felt it would encumber his ability to fight like he was used to. I think this can be compared to trying to fight a culture war with old methods or methods that might have worked for a different generation. Where our parents did things like set curfews to get us home and out of trouble by a certain time, we cannot simply do that with this generation of children. Yes, curfews are a good idea, but what happens when your child comes home and gets into the same amount of trouble, perhaps more, on his iPad than he does while out with friends?
The times have drastically changed with our kids. Technology alone has completely shifted the battlefield. Old, traditional methods (or armor) will not help us here. This is where we as parents need to lean on the Lord to be able to fight in this battle. We need to acknowledge that the only way we are going to win this war for our kids is to rely on the ultimate warrior, the ultimate strategist. And that is Jesus Christ – the commander of the Lord’s army. We need to acknowledge we don’t know what to do. We need help. Practically speaking, we NEED to be praying for our kids – everyday, and specifically over the area of their purity of heart, mind, and body. What’s more, we need to ask God to direct us by His spirit with the everyday decisions and discussions that come up.
We need to ask Him to speak through us when they are sitting at the dinner table, when they ask those precious 5 year old questions, and when the 17-year-old gets talkative in the passenger seat of the car. We also need to ask God to guide our decisions about what activities they should be involved in, what friends to hang out with, etc. We need to be intentional about talking to them about sex, friends, the influence of media, and relationships. We cannot miss a beat with our kids because there are Philistines everywhere! And we need to be the Davids who are confident in the Lord’s salvation and protection and who can encourage our kids, and other parents, that the battle belongs to the Lord. It is in His strength, relying on His wisdom and training, that we will win this battle.
For more practical details on guarding your kids in our culture, specifically in the area of purity, please check out Guardians of Purity.