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 (Manna 94: Time to Reflect: Our Beliefs)
Family: Raising God’s Servants
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Lawrence Chan—London, UK

Parenting is a challenge. We need to take care of our children, teach, and provide for them well past their early years. And as Christians, we understand that our responsibility extends beyond caring for our children’s physical and emotional needs; we must also nurture them spiritually. Furthermore, when our children are baptized, they adopt a new identity in the Lord:

            To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father. (Rev 1:5b–6a)

Those who have had their sins forgiven through baptism have become kings and priests. In the Old Testament, the priesthood was a blessing and gift from God (Num 18:7). When God established the Aaronic priesthood, He instructed Aaron and his sons to separate themselves from the people so they could minister before God and perform His work (Ex 28:1). Today, as priests of the end time, purchased by the blood of Christ, we have likewise been called out and tasked with ministering before God. This role of priesthood applies not only to us but also to our children.

Therefore, an important part of raising our children in the Lord means raising them as servants of God. How should we undertake this task, and what attitude should we have? King David gives us a good example in how he equipped his son, Solomon, to serve God. 


Before Solomon was anointed king, David gathered all the leaders and officials of Israel. Knowing his time was near its end, David prepared Solomon to be king and to take on the work of building God’s temple.

            Now He said to me, “It is your son Solomon who shall build My house and My courts; for I have chosen him to be My son, and I will be his Father.” (1 Chr 28:6)

If we replace Solomon’s name here with our own or our children’s, this statement would be equally true. Though it feels like our children will always be ours, our time as their parent is actually limited. God has chosen us to be His children, and He remains our Father for all eternity. As His children, we are responsible for building up His house together—this spiritual temple, the church—so that it continues to grow and prosper until Jesus comes again (1 Pet 2:4–5).

We should have the mindset of Hannah, who gave birth to Samuel, knowing she would one day have to offer him up to the Lord. Likewise, we are raising our children for God, and when they are ready, we need to present them to Him for service.


            Furthermore King David said to all the assembly: “My son Solomon, whom alone God has chosen, is young and inexperienced; and the work is great, because the temple is not for man but for the LORD God.” (1 Chr 29:1)

Firstly, David spoke these words to Solomon to teach him the attitude he would need as king. We tend to think of leaders as confident and knowledgeable, but David reminded Solomon that he is young and inexperienced. As Christians, we must be humble; only then can we accept and admit our limitations and weaknesses and recognize that we must rely on God. With God’s help, we have strength to continue His work (2 Cor 12:9–10) and become sufficient for the roles bestowed on us (2 Cor 3:5–6).

Secondly, David spoke these words before the assembly because he wanted the leaders to understand that they would need to help Solomon build a temple worthy of God. The leaders would go on to support Solomon by offering their money and precious stones. David and all the people rejoiced that they had provided towards the building works (1 Chr 29:6–9). This is a joy we also find when we serve together. As Paul tells us in Ephesians 4, we are all part of one body, and each part has its role. All parts of the body must work together, as the body cannot function effectively otherwise. Even Solomon, who as king would hold the highest position in society, could not be an effective ruler and leader if he relied only on himself.

Thirdly, David reminded Solomon that the work he was to undertake was important for God’s glory. As servants of God, we must remember that our work is for God and His glory. We can prevent pride from entering our hearts by constantly reminding ourselves of this, particularly if we hold a prominent role in the church.

From Solomon’s response to God in 2 Chronicles 1:7–10—“for who can judge this great people of Yours?”—we can see that he took his father’s teachings to heart. Being reminded of his weaknesses, he asked God for wisdom and knowledge to lead the people.

Instilling this humble mindset is key to raising God’s servants. We need to teach our children these principles so we can serve God together with humility:

1. We must rely on God, not on ourselves.
2. The work of God is carried out together.
3. The work of God is important.
4. We work to glorify God, not ourselves.


            Now for the house of my God I have prepared with all my might: gold for things to made of gold, silver for things of silver, bronze for things of bronze. ...Moreover, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, my own special treasure of gold and silver.” (1 Chr 29:2–3)

God forbade David from building the temple. However, because this work remained in his heart and mind, he did as much as he could by preparing construction materials. David declared the above words to the people and Solomon to set an example and show them that he had willingly offered his best to God.

In 1 Chronicles 29:5, David challenged the people, “Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the LORD?” The Israelites responded by willingly offering to God, and rejoiced with David in doing so (1 Chr 29:9). Our service to God should not be driven purely by compulsion or duty because, if this is the case, it will inevitably be half-hearted ( 1 Pet 5:2). Instead, we strive to serve with all our heart and soul, as Moses repeatedly reminded the Israelites (Deut 11:13). After all, God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9:7).

David was only able to effectively challenge the people to give their best to God because he first set an example. Parents are role models for their children—they grow up observing and learning from us. They pick up our habits, attitudes, behavior, work ethic, and countless other things. When they watch us, do they see someone who loves, serves, and places God first in their life? It is important that we set a good example of what it means to be a Christian so that, through us, they can build a solid foundation to become a good servant of God.


            Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the vestibule, its houses, its treasuries, its upper chambers, its inner chambers, and the place of the mercy seat and the plans for all that he had by the Spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD. (1 Chr 28:11–12a)

David helped Solomon in the building work by providing the plans for the temple. By doing so, David directly supported him, giving him a starting point and direction for his work.

As parents, we naturally worry about our children’s future because we know they will need to support themselves one day. So we try to prepare them, and prepare for them, as best we can, whether financially, academically, or by providing them with different experiences and opportunities to learn new skills. However, in preparing them to face the world, we can easily neglect their spiritual life. But their spirituality is more important because our degrees, jobs, and possessions will no longer matter in the end, while our spiritual lives are eternal (2 Cor 4:18). So we should not neglect to help our children mature in this regard.

When our children start to work for God, they, like Solomon, will be young and inexperienced. Divine work that seems simple and easy to us may seem daunting and difficult to younger members. So when our children become involved in church work, we must support them as best we can rather than leave them to grapple with tasks alone.

In the church where I grew up, the religious education (RE) students in their early teens would be assigned to lead hymnal sessions before service. When it was time for my RE class to be put on the schedule, I was strongly resistant, so a sister substituted for me the first time I was assigned. My parents occasionally tried to encourage me, but I refused for many months, primarily because of a fear of being in front of others—a fear not unique to the young. Years later, my mother shared with me that, recognizing that I was stubborn in my refusal, they prayed for me until I was ready to take up the task.

There are many ways we can support our children in serving God. These include:

Helping them to find suitable opportunities to serve.
Giving them opportunities to practice at home, such as leading hymn singing, prayer, and Bible study during family services.
Praying together with them for their work.
Helping them to plan and prepare.
Giving them constructive feedback.
Comforting and encouraging them when things do not go well.


            When I was my father’s son,
Tender and the only one in the sight of my mother,
He also taught me, and said to me:
Let your heart retain my words;
Keep my commands, and live.” (Prov 4:3–4)

Supporting our children in their service does not begin when they are ready to serve. Our support starts from an early age, in building up their belief and faith in God and teaching them God’s word, so they have a firm foundation from which to serve when they are older. Solomon remembered the words of spiritual wisdom that David had imparted to him; they had served to influence and guide his life. By writing the Book of Proverbs, he did the same for his own son.

I have strong memories of my mother reading testimonies from Holy Spirit Monthly magazine as bedtime stories to my sister and me when we were young. We both looked forward to this and loved to hear testimonies—an enthusiasm I see replicated today in my daughter. Being young and not having our own experiences of God’s power, we could be filled with wonder at the miracles that God performs on those who believe in Him. I remember, when I was a pre-teen, concluding that though I had not yet personally experienced God, I believed God exists because of all of the testimonies I had heard. This formed a building block in my belief and faith in God.

Even seemingly small acts should not be overlooked. Since my daughter was a toddler, my wife and I would tell her that we would pray for her whenever she was ill. After she recovered, we would mention how Jesus had helped her and thank Him together in prayer. Later as a young child, she would say the same thing to us when she knew we were ill or hurt. From such a small act, a simple faith grew—a faith that God is real and has the power to help us.

Establishing and maintaining a family altar is essential to building our children’s faith from young. God commanded the Israelites to teach their children diligently throughout the day, even when walking or lying down (Deut 6:6–7). Similarly, there are opportunities in our daily life to speak of Jesus and God's word and to build up our children’s faith.


From David’s example, we can better understand the task of raising God’s servants. It may seem challenging, but we do not bear this responsibility alone. Our heavenly Father, the Father of our children, plays His part in helping them grow. As David prayed:

            And give my son Solomon a loyal heart to keep Your commandments and Your testimonies and Your statutes, to do all these things, and to build the temple for which I have made provision.” (1 Chr 29:19)

After making his proclamations to the gathered assembly, David asked God to guide Solomon. As parents, we may teach and prepare our children to serve God, but most importantly, we need to pray and entrust them into the hands of God. It was through the blood of Christ that our children were made kings and priests; through God’s grace, they are called to serve Him, build up His temple, and minister before His throne. Therefore, as we work to instill humility in them and set a good example of service, let us rely on our heavenly Father to raise His children as His faithful servants.

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Author: Lawrence Chan
Publisher: True Jesus Church
Date: 05/01/2023