With anything, it is important to teach our kids tools of life and ways to live. As our kids grow up, we teach them to say their prayers at night and, many times, we will teach the classic, “Now I lay me down to sleep…”
No matter your religious affiliation, many people believe in a God. In the Christian world, prayer is important to us because this is direct communication with God. As our kids grew up, we taught them first and foremost to be thankful and to thank God for all he has blessed us with. Among the many other things we pray for, we ask God to help them to become 3 things, which I feel embody what they should strive for from a biblical perspective:
- Strong like Samson
“Help me to be Strong like Samson.”
There is a line in a movie that says life will chew you up and spit you out if you let it. In life we have to be strong, and we have to own that strength in 3 ways:
♦ Physically – I think we need to teach our kids to be physically strong. They have to be able to do physical things in life, like “lift this” or “move that.” For example, be able to pick up their bike when they have a wreck or to pick up their sister if mommy and daddy can’t make it there. Physical strength in life is paramount on so many levels that I could write a small book about the topic (but I will leave that for another time).
♦ Mentally – Mental toughness is one of the top keys to being successful in life. We have to be able to handle all that life is going to throw at us. How do we respond to failure? How do we respond to success? How do we respond when things are not going as planned and we want to quit? When the going gets tough, we have to have it between the ears before we have it in our muscles.
♦ Spiritually – Being strong in our faith and having something to rely on that is bigger than us is HUGE. There are going to be times in life when you’re not sure you can make it. If you solely trust in others, they may let you down. We have to be strong spiritually to know that God has everything in control.
Samson has the reputation of being the strongest person in the Bible. The Bible says that when the child was born, “he grew and the Lord blessed him” (Judges 13:24). The Bible then goes on to tell the story of how Samson was walking through the vineyards and came upon a lion. “The spirit of the Lord came upon him and he tore the lion apart with his bare hands” (Judges 14:6). The angel of the Lord told his mother that this power would grow as the boy got older and as his hair got longer. There are numerous stories in Judges 13-16 of how Samson showed his strength, from killing 30 men to collapsing two pillars that held up an entire building.
Do I want my kids to be exactly like Samson? No, he made mistakes just like all of us do. But I do want them to embody the physical, mental, and spiritual strengths the Lord blessed him with.
- Tough like Benaiah
There is not a ton about Benaiah in the Bible. I first learned about him from the Mark Batterson book, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day. Benaiah exuded toughness.
Toughness. It will get you through almost anything.
When many people think of being tough, they think of the physical aspect. But what most do not realize is the mental toughness it takes to launch headlong into whatever venture you are facing that may be physically taxing.
But why Benaiah? What makes him so tough?
♦ He is faced with an Egyptian giant… and kills him
This is cool, but we have heard this story before (David and Goliath). This time, though, it’s HOW Benaiah did it that makes him stand out. The Egyptian had an enormous spear (weaver’s beam–sized) and Benaiah has nothing but a little club. But no big deal, Benaiah just snatches the spear from the Egyptian and kills him with that instead. That’s hardcore.
♦ Killed a lion
Killing a lion itself is super crazy, but the Bible tells us (2 Samuel 23:20) that he went down and killed a lion in the middle of a pit on a snowy day. This is not a deal where he was in a pasture and a lion came up to him; no, out of his own free will did Benaiah go down into the pit and kill a lion. Talk about mental toughness. Lets go one more: it was snowing. I don’t even want to go get the mail when its snowing, much less go fight a lion. I want to teach my kids that toughness will get us through many things in life and how we have to be tough physically and mentally to be great.
- Wise like Solomon
Soloman was said the be the wisest man in the world. He wrote, he sang, and he taught. But what makes him so wise? And why do I want my children to be like him? In 1 Kings Chapter 3, God comes to Soloman and asks him, “Solomon, ask for anything you
want, and I will give it to you.”
And Soloman’s response was, “Please make me wise and teach me the difference between right and wrong. Then I will know how to rule your people. If you don’t, there is no way I could rule this great nation of yours.”
Say what!!! That’s strong!
This is why I want my kids to be wise like Soloman. Because he had enough in him to know that if he obtained wisdom, all the other stuff would follow. He gave up the instant gratification for the delayed riches and honor. It gives me chills to think that my kids and I are praying this into their lives every day.
Prayer is communication with God. When we pour out our hearts he listens. Child-like faith is what causes God to listen. Speak life into your child on a daily basis. In all of these prayers, we explain to our kids why these people are the way they are and why they should want to mimic these traits. It is not just a rote prayer they speak daily; we discuss why they want to be like these 3 giants of faith.
I’d love to hear what you pray with and over your kids every day. Leave it in the comments below.