We all have different experiences as we raise our children. And we are at different comfort levels. For instance, some may be experiencing the temper tantrum stage…the terrible twos. Some may have children who are acting out and don’t understand what’s happening or why it is happening. Others may have grown children who are constantly in trouble and seem to have lost their way and nothing seems to help. You may feel like you are facing the giant Goliath but you know you are not a David.
David, a young shepherd boy faced one of his greatest challenges in life when he came up against Goliath, a giant warrior who was trained and well-armed. At some point, each of us will have a “David experience” and face trials and tribulations. These trials could be related to health, finances, or relationships. And yes, raising children could present big David and Goliath challenges.
David was looking across the Elah Valley into the eyes of the notorious giant, Goliath. As a shepherd boy, David had faced and overcome many disasters. God had always given him what he needed to succeed. But this challenge was different, this was Goliath, a giant feared by all. But, as we know, David was successful again because he did what he always did, he put his faith in God.
Have you had a day or days when you felt like you were having a David and Goliath experience raising your child? Perhaps, even now you are at the end of your rope and you’re questioning your ability to parent. Do you feel like you have tried every parenting technique in the book and nothing seems to work? If so, now is the time to do as Dr. Charles Stanley suggest, “lay hold of the kind of victorious faith that looks beyond what we can see to what God sees.”
David was successful because of his ability to trust God. If he had just looked at the giant, he would have ran away just as the other Israelites did. So, in facing your “David and Goliath” experience with your child, work on you and your faith…look to God.
To “Parent on Purpose” does not mean that you have to always “work on” your child. It also
means working on you and your faith. David had faith in the sovereignty of God; that’s how he knew he would defeat the giant. You too can gain this type of faith.
Doctor Charles Stanley tells us that “trusting God means looking beyond what we can see to what God sees. How can we gain that kind of faith and handle a David and Goliath experience with our child? Dr. Stanley tells us:
1. Ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17) And, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John: 1:9)
2. Recall past victories. Just as David remembered the lions he had slain, you must remember your victories. Spiritual victories are won in your mind. Do not cave into feelings of fear and doubt. Focus on the truth of God’s Word. God wants your children to know and love Him. Visualize a healthy relationship with your child. Visualize your child doing the right things. Recognize your child when he does the right thing and encourage him.
3. Reject discouraging words. No one encouraged David and told him that he could defeat Goliath. The soldiers laughed at him. Even King Saul and David’s own brothers laughed and doubting words to David. David did not listen to these disparaging comments. Instead, he turned his eyes toward God and found the encouragement he needed. Your child’s teacher may say things that will discourage you regarding your child and his behavior. Even relatives may put doubt in your mind about your parenting skills and your child’s behavior. You must remember to turn your eyes towards God and there you will find all the encouragement you need to “Parent on Purpose”, to parent God’s way.
4. Recognize the true nature of the battle. David entered the battle shouting to his opponent, “The battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:47). The Bible tells us, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). The best way to fight this spiritual battle is to let go and let God do the fighting for you. Study His Word and Pray.
5. Respond to the challenge with a positive confession. David verbalized winning by saying to Saul, “The Lord will deliver me from the hand of the Philistine.” And to Goliath he said, “I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel” (1 Samuel 17:37,45). David declared his belief that he could not lose because God was with him. Likewise, you should proclaim God’s promises. “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord” (Psalm 31:24). “Casting all your care upon him; for He careth for you.”
(1 Peter 5:7). “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
6. Rely on the power of God. David did not use a javelin or spear to defeat Goliath. He needed his faith and a homemade slingshot. And he continued his positive confession. “Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear” ( 1 Samuel 17:47). God gave David the victory and David gave God the glory. Know that God wants you to raise children who will glorify Him. Confess it and possess it! “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward” (Psalm 127:3).
7. Own the victory. Even before he stepped onto the battlefield, David knew he would not lose. He knew that God always keeps His promises and he knew that God’s strength and wisdom would win the battle. Remember, “For the Lord your God is He who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory” (Deuteronomy 20:4). You shall not fear them, for it is the Lord your God who fights for you” Deuteronomy 3:33).
Yes, there will be challenges throughout life and some of them may involve our children. It’s true, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” And we can dance in the rain because of God’s promise, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).