Raising Samuels

Eli helping Samuel to learn to hear God's voice

From Contributing Writer, Trina Holden

Learning to hear God’s voice is a life-long journey. I want to give my kids an early start by teaching them they can learn to listen while they’re young. Here’s how we’re cultivating a listening ear in our home…

Read the story of Samuel {A Lot!}

I want my son to understand that God really does talk to 5 year old boys! He’s had the concept quite cemented in his mind through the story of Samuel, which we’ve read over and over in every version of the Bible we have.

Our favorite is the one in the Rhyme Bible Storybook. My kids love the rhythm of poetry so we read it over and over until they could recite it with me.

“When it happened again, Old Eli knew,

And he told the boy what he should do:

‘Listen, for God is speaking to you!’”

Teach Them That All Good Things Come From God

James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights”. This verse is key to helping us discern whether something we hear is from God. Is it good? Teach your children that we can’t take the credit for any of the good that comes out of us. Once they realize that the source of a bright idea or a kind thought is actually God’s Spirit, it can help them tune in to His voice.

The other day, when I got home from running errands, I reached for the screen door and found the wind had slammed it so hard it was jammed shut. No amount of yanking would budge it. I had a little moment of panic. The kids were cold and hungry — I needed to get them inside. Jesse (5) had the idea to try the back door.

“Thanks, boy, but it’s probably locked.” I quickly dialed my husband to ask “What to do?”

Undaunted, my boy ran around the corner of the house and, to our surprise, turned the handle and proudly announced to his mommy, “I got it! It’s open!”

We trooped gratefully inside for lunch. Later that day, Jesse said, out of the blue, “Mom, I think that was GOD for me to think to use the back door!”

I agreed that, yes, good ideas come from God.

Live It Out In Front of Them

Share openly with your children what God is working in your own heart. They may not grasp the concepts, but they will get the main idea – that one CAN have dialog with the Father.

One day I realized that the words I thought were over their head were still having an impact. Jesse said to me, “Mom, God talked to me today.”

“Yeah? What did He say?”

“Same thing He told you, Mom! ‘Be patient and keep on keepin’ on’!”

Thank you, Father!

More Ideas For Raising Samuels:

  • If you children are old enough, encourage them to keep a little prayer journal where they write a prayer to God and then jot down anything they hear in return.
  • If they are too young to write, let them dictate what they hear after you read a little scripture, or lead them to draw a picture.
  • Remind them that the quiet time in their bed alone as they fall asleep is a great time to talk with God.

“Allow the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God”. Mark 10:14

As you lead your children, your own heart will be encouraged when you witness their childlike faith.

How are you cultivating your children’s faith? What has worked for your family? I’m always looking for more ideas!

Photo Credit

About Trina Holden

Trina enjoys offering hospitality from their 1800’s farm house in Upstate New York. She loves to encourage women to nourish their families, celebrate the journey, and choose to thrive at TrinaHolden.com.

12 Responses to Raising Samuels

  1. Maria May 23, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    Very encouraging post and very encouraged also to see other moms shaping the next generation of godly men and women!!

    We also have family prayer time after our Bible reading. Each of us would start our prayer by confessing and repenting.
    We parents also confess in front of them, to teach them that we are also sinful beings who also need God’s grace and forgiveness.
    We hope to see the habit of confessing and repenting continue into their adult life.
    We also develop a list of prayer points for 7-day. We would pray for different virtues in our family, then we also include the kids to pray for missionaries, pastors, persecuted church, government, their teachers, etc.

  2. charis March 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    i love this post! yes, it is amazing to see how our children hear from God. one way i try to teach them the Holy Spirit’s leading as far as discernment of right and wrong or potentially harmful situations is the feeling in their belly. when the Holy Spirit is moving on our hearts we feel warmth inside often and when He is warning us of danger we will feel kinda sick in the bottom of our bellies. this has helped them with some of their decision making and i love that they are learning to hear from God!

    my recent post: a little bit of real life (and my 37.5 week maternity pics!)

  3. Sarah Batie March 20, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    Awesome post! We talk about this with our kids too. I agree with living out the fact that God listens and speaks and is the giver of good gifts! Thank you for posting.

  4. Stephanie March 19, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    Great post. It is so important to live out your faith. It’s something we do and live every day. My main goal as a parents is to create God-loving, God-fearing, Holy Spirit filled children. If that is accomplished, then I think I’ve done my job as a mom and I’ve honored God.

  5. Sarah March 18, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

    Thank you for this post! I am always on the lookout for ways to encourage my children to draw closer to God. I’ve often considered the story of “little David” fighting Goliath to be an excellent story to encourage children that yes, God does use young people, but somehow the story of Samuel never struck me as accessible to children until reading your post! For some reason, I always gathered from it only the importance of the mother’s role in dedicating her children to the Lord, but not the role of the child to answer God’s call. Thank you for this insight!

    I also really like the idea of encouraging them to consider and recognize that every good thought and kind deed comes from God to help them tune in to Him better. I could definitely do this more, and I believe it would be a great benefit to my children. :)

  6. Preslaysa March 18, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    This post really means a lot to me. When I was praying about what to name our now two year old son, the story of Samuel in the Bible moved my heart. My husband and I decided to name our baby Samuel. This post reminds me of the divine purpose behind parenting: raising up godly sons and daughters.

  7. Tracey M March 18, 2012 at 9:36 am #

    I love this! So thankful for the encouragement to live out our faith in front of our kids, and those sweet examples of what He’s doing in your children’s hearts.

  8. Lanai March 18, 2012 at 6:28 am #

    Looking forward to being able to share this with our little one(s) in the future, once their old enough. By Gods grace, we will live it out daily so there will be no question about IF there is a God, who He is, and what He does in our lives. My prayer is that somehow we could cultivate that innocence in the kiddos hearts do they could stay tuned into what the Holy Spirit is relating to their little souls.

    As a young mother, wife, and Christian I would love to see a post on how to help our little ones seek truth. I’ve found it difficult in my walk with the Lord to really find truth. I know that through prayer and seeking, God will show me. I often find myself afraid to teach my little one (once she’s old enough to learn) for fear of leading her astray. Maybe I’m being anxious about something Unnecessary.. I just don’t want to lead my family astray.

    • Christina May 2, 2012 at 12:18 am #

      Fear of the LORD will lead us to a love for the truth. The Word explains we can wrestle with scripture to our own destruction. We are commanded to study and rightly divide scripture to show ourselves approved to God. The Word says buy the truth and sell it not. Proverbs talks about searching for wisdom like others search for gold. It is ok that our children see us on the journey to more and more light Proverbs 4:18. In Deut we are commanded to talk to our children all day and teach them to love the LORD will their whole being. That can not begin without them first fearing the LORD, which includes a strong realization that any of us can be deceived and all of us are in some ways. Jesus is able to lead us our of our own thinking and the thinking of those around us into the only real truth, His Light! My family and I are benefiting from friendship and mentoring from people in his Body at Heritage Ministries. heritageministries.net They practice listening to the Spirit in how to do everyday life and family. It is amazing how the LORD has lead them and confirming to my husband and I in what he has spoken to us. Jesus said the Holy Ghost will guide us into all truth. It is a constant chase into oneness with him, which one day will be satisfied when we see him!

  9. Jordan Carlson March 17, 2012 at 7:05 am #

    Amen! Amen!

    Thanks for sharing this.

  10. Natasha March 17, 2012 at 3:29 am #

    yes. yes. yes. This is such an important concept! Teach them scripture and teach them to listen…

  11. Leanne March 16, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    Wonderful post! I don’t have kids myself yet, but one thing I remember reading about is to be sure to point out to your kids when God answers prayer. A friend of mine lost an important necklace once, and prayed with her young kids about it, and she did end up finding the necklace! What an opportunity to teach your kids that God hears us and answers our prayers. Prayer is not just something we “do”, but something that is so meaningful in the life of the Christian!