Today I Brought My Sons To The Temple

I brought my sons to the temple

Almost 31 years ago, God blessed me with a beautiful baby boy.  Sixteen months later a second little boy arrived to complete our family.  Both of my boys attended their first church service almost from birth; Steven at 4 days old and Philip at only 2 ½ days old.  When they were only a few months old, we dedicated them to the Lord. I was determined that my children would love the Lord with all their heart and grow to be strong men of God.   They learned all the worship songs, went to Sunday School and memorized Bible verses.  I believed the Word of God when it instructed me to teach them in the morning and before they went to bed.  I prayed with them before tests and when there were conflicts.  It was my greatest joy when at a young age; they were baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost. As the years passed, they grew into the fine young men I had envisioned, married beautiful young ladies and started their own families.  It sounds like the perfect story except I forgot an important step, I never brought them back to the temple.

I Samuel 1:24  Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bulls, one ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord in Shiloh. And the child was young. 25Then they slaughtered a bull and brought the child to Eli. 26And she said, “O my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to the Lord. 27For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. 28Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord.” So they worshiped the Lord there.

Just as Hannah had promised to give Samuel to the Lord, I had vowed to teach them the truth and prepare them for service.  I nurtured them, provided them with all the necessary tools to live successful Christian lives, instructed them and encouraged them.  Even after they were grown and raising their own families, I couldn’t let go of the responsibility of guiding them in the way they should go.  When they would depart from the things I had taught them, I would grieve and plead their case before the Lord.  This morning as tears flowed down my cheeks for my sons, God spoke to my heart and said, “You have to bring them back to the temple.”

Although Samuel was a promise from God and Hannah loved him with her whole being, she realized that Samuel could not fulfill God’s plan for his life if she did not bring him back to the temple.  My deepest desire is that my sons will follow the leading of the Lord, that they would grow in their relationship with Him and be used mightily in the service of God.  As long as I hold on to what I have envisioned for them, I will never appreciate what God is accomplishing in and through their lives.  So today, I presented them both at the temple.

God may lead them down a different path and use them in a way that I can’t even imagine, but I will rejoice as they step into the will of God.  Their methods and viewpoints will probably not mirror mine, but I am thankful that God allowed me to lay a strong foundation on which they can stand.  I’m a little sad, it is a bittersweet separation, but today I brought my sons to the temple.

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