You probably don’t know who Manoah was (though I’m sure you’ve heard of his son). Manoah is not a name we hear today. I’ve never seen an illustrated Bible story of his life or come across a statue to commemorate his contribution to God’s people. He’s never in anyone’s VBS list of heroes. But there was a moment when Manoah received an incredible promise from God. His wife was unable to have children, but the promise was that life was about to break through her barrenness. Manoah was about to become a father!
In this moment, Manoah asked God what I think may be the most important question any of can ask on behalf of our children:
…when your words come true, what is to be the child’s manner of life, and what is his mission?
How should I teach him to be?
What is he here to do?
I hadn’t noticed Manoah’s prayer before today, but I can’t think of anything I’d rather do as a parent than help my kids discover how God intends them to be and how that relates to His mission in their lives. Each of my kids has their own set of interests and gifts and curiosities that need to be explored and tested and discovered. As I think of my ministry students, too, I know that one of the greatest joys I’ve had is helping them discover how and who God has created in them. But it’s not enough for me to recognize hidden talents and draw out latent abilities they didn’t even know were there. I hope to help them see the unique character God is forming in them and the mission for which He has prepared them.
And so I pray with Manoah:
What should they be like?
What is their mission?