Children: A Trust From God
A Selection from Ruth Bell Graham’s Writing
September 1, 2011
Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.— Proverbs 22:6
by Ruth Bell Graham
What is your attitude toward your children? Do you consider them a trust from God, eternal souls for whom Christ died? Did you ever hear God say to you, as Pharaoh’s daughter did to Moses’ mother, “Take this child … and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages”? (Exodus 2:9, KJV).
Children are to be taught, and they ought to be taught early in life. Where do you suppose Moses learned about God? In Pharaoh’s court? Hardly. He learned about God from his mother.
I was brought up in the Orient, and I know that it is not an unusual thing for a mother to nurse her baby for three to five years. In that length of time, Moses’ mother could have taught him a great deal about God and about his own people. So when he became a man, he chose to suffer affliction with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season (Hebrews 11:25).
And later we have the story of Hannah, who prayed so earnestly for young Samuel. Someone has said, “If more children were longed for and prayed for as Hannah longed and prayed, perhaps there would be more men like Samuel.” God gave Hannah Samuel, and she gave him back to God. After she had weaned him (again, he could have been 3 to 5 years old), she took him to the Temple and presented him to the Prophet Eli.
The Bible says that Eli’s sons, “made themselves vile, and he restrained them not” (1 Samuel 3:13, KJV). Samuel, living at the same time in that atmosphere, grew up pure and clean—a man of God.
You have your children for a few short years; train them before the time is gone.
Taken by permission from “Husbands, Children and God” by Ruth Bell Graham, originally published in Decision magazine, June 1967 ©1967 The Ruth Graham Literary Trust.