‘What will be the boy’s rule of life, and his work?’ Judges 13:12 NKJV
When God told Samson’s father Manoah that he would have a son in his old age, he asked, ‘What will be the boy’s rule of life, and his work?’ He was a wise father. He knew that in order for his son to fulfil his destiny, he must be raised by certain rules. Children feel more secure and tend to flourish when they know what the boundaries are. Imagine driving your car over a bridge that’s suspended hundreds of metres in the air. For first-time travellers, it can be a scary experience. One little fellow was so awed by the view that he said, ‘Wow, Daddy! If you fell off here it would kill you constantly!’ Suppose there were no guardrails on the side of the bridge; where would you steer the car? Right down the middle of the road! Even though you don’t plan to hit those protective railings, you just feel more secure knowing they’re there. And it’s the same with your children. They need to know what the ‘rules of life’ are, and that you’ll enforce them consistently. When the rules are clear at home, children live in safety. As long as he or she stays within those reasonable, well-marked guardrails there’s joy, freedom, and acceptance. Your children may not admit that they want you to be the boss, but they breathe more easily when you are. Bottom line: when God gives you a child, it’s a twenty-one-year project, at a minimum. During that time you train them either for failure or for success. The choice is yours.