Train Them Up Like Samuel

“Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the Lord.” 1 Samuel 2:12 NKJV

Eli was the High Priest of Shiloh. He judged Israel for 40 years and trained Samuel, who’d take his place and become a prophet. It’s safe to say Eli knew God and served Him faithfully. However, whenever I think about Eli, there’s something that always bothers me about him. More so, as a parent. It’s the story of his sons, Hophni and Phinehas, and his legacy. Eli’s sons were also priests; but they were evil and had no regard for God. They’d take the sacrifices that were dedicated to God and sleep with the women who gathered at the tabernacle. They caused Eli’s legacy to be cut off.

When God judges Eli’s family, He goes straight to Eli which makes me think that Eli could’ve prevented judgement. He could’ve had some influence over the verse above and made God known to his sons. I’m not going to lie. Sometimes, I get so focused on knowing and serving God, I forget that teaching my kids to know God is my first serving position. So, I have to do a gut check and be intentional about teaching my kids. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says we should commit ourselves to the commands God gives us and “repeat them again and again to your children.” It says we’re supposed to talk about it at home, on the road, in bed and when we get up. One of the first responsibilities God gives us is to teach our children about God.

Serving God in church is a form of worship and a way to expand His Kingdom. In serving, we sacrifice time and, at times, the things we want to do. But, we know, obedience is better than sacrifice. We might serve in church or personal ministries, but the family is our first ministry. We cannot be so willing to serve outside of our homes, and let our family wander. Teaching our kids to know God is priority. When I first read about Eli and his sons, I prayed that I would not to end up like Eli, but do all I could to teach and train my kids up like Samuel.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for teaching me and instructing me in Your ways. Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Thank you for Your wisdom and words that guide me in teaching my kids to know You. I pray they know You better than I know You. Thank You for loving them more than I love them. Thank You for the opportunities You give me to show them who You are in our daily lives. My heart is to please You in everything I do. And, I give You all glory, honor, and praise. In Jesus’ name.

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