Have you ever wondered what it is that God has called your child to? More than just what he will do when he grow up, have you thought about the unique challenges, joys, sufferings, or purposes that God will call your little one to? Ephesians 2:10 says that long before your child was in existence, God had prepared the good works that He would call them to as a part of their unique design. The story of Samuel provides a wonderful framework for helping our children grow in trusting God’s voice and His Word so that they might respond in obedience as Samuel did. Take advantage of this simple story to teach your children that God has spoken to us through His Word and that we can trust and obey Him when He calls to us.
This week your child learned about the story of Samuel in 1 Samuel 3. They learned that God calls us and wants us to obey. God wants us to obey the first time. Samuel lived with Eli the priest because his mother, Hannah, promised the Lord that she would give her son to the Lord. One night while Samuel and Eli were sleeping, Samuel heard a voice. He responded to Eli, but Eli told him he did not call and to go back to bed. Again Samuel heard the voice call him and he ran to Eli. But Eli again said he did not call him and to go back to bed. Samuel heard the voice a third time. This time Eli realized it was the Lord calling Samuel. Samuel responded to the Lord and obeyed.
" Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know. " Jeremiah 33:3
This is a fun story to act out. Grab a neighbor, sibling or friend to help. Review the story with your child and then assign parts letting your child be Samuel first. Have Samuel and Eli lie down and have the Lord sit a few feet away. Start off by following this script:
The Lord - Samuel, Samuel
Samuel will get up, walk over to (sleeping) Eli and say - Eli, did you call me?
Eli - I did not call you, Samuel. Go back to bed.
Samuel obeys. Wait a few seconds and then repeat. On the third time, when Samuel comes in to Eli.
Eli - I have not been calling your name; it must be the Lord. Go back to bed and when you hear the voice again say, Yes, Lord, I am listening.
Call Samuel one more time and he will simply sit up in bed and respond with - Yes, Lord, I am listening. (Eli continues sleeping.)
Ask your child what happened next? His response should be something along the lines of, ―Samuel obeyed God and became a great leader! Switch roles and act it out again.
It’s “Follow the Leader” time! You can play this game using words or actions. Have your child either do what you say, or follow your exact actions. After playing the game, talk about how Samuel obeyed everything God told him to say, just like they obeyed you during the game by using these questions:
Spend some time in prayer each morning this week, asking God to show you how you can train your child specifically in the area of immediate obedience. Ask Him to show you what your childʼs obstacles may be, such as laziness, defiance, just lack of understanding, and to give you insight into how to shepherd your child through this crucial area.
Spend time praying about hearing God's voice. Pray he would use His word to show you what he wants you to know. Ask Him to help you as you do this, because we can do nothing apart from Him.