It’s that time of year when a combination of nervousness and excitement fills the homes of many families across the nation. We are on the brink of, or have already started, a new school year beginning from preschool all the way into post-secondary. As a parent of three, much preparation has taken place in order for my kids to have everything they need to be successful. Shopping for specific school supplies, clothes, shoes, organizational tools, and what seems to be unlimited “extras” is just the beginning. There are also immunizations to obtain, paperwork to be completed, and open houses to attend. But as cumbersome as it may be, it is worth every dollar and hour that goes into these tasks. As parents, we want what is best for our kids and desire for them to start out the year right. We want them to do well, not just this school year, but in every succeeding year, as they achieve greater and more impactful goals throughout their academic careers.
King David demonstrates a great example of this in 1 Chronicles 28. Although he had it in his heart and had planned to build a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, he was obedient to God’s differing instructions. God clearly told King David that it was not he, but rather his son, Solomon, who was chosen to build His house and His courts (28:6). King David had the experience and expertise to know how daunting of a task this would be, however, and therefore provided Solomon with ALL of the plans that he had spent countless hours engineering. He provided Solomon with every last detail for the portico of the temple, its buildings, its storehouses, its upper parts, its inner rooms and the place of atonement. Chapter 28: 12 & 13 says that “he gave him the plans of all that the Spirit had put in his mind for the courts of the temple of the Lord and all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the temple….” and also gave “instructions for the divisions of the priests and Levites….” In addition, King David designated the weight of gold and silver for each and every article to be used in various kinds of service. King David was preparing his son for what he knew he was called to do. He was setting him up for success!
Fortunately, King David was also wise enough to understand the importance of spiritually and emotionally preparing his son for this major endeavor. He reminded Solomon to “be careful to follow all the commands of the Lord your God, that you may possess this good land and pass it on as an inheritance to your descendants forever (28:8).” He spoke purpose into his son and repeatedly emphasized the importance of doing things God’s way while keeping the future in mind (28:9). He then encouraged Solomon in verse 20 by telling him to “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be the afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you….”
Like King David, let us do everything we can to physically, spiritually, and emotionally prepare our children for this upcoming school year, as well as every new phase in their lives. Let us set them up for success as we focus on the long-term implications of their accomplishments. And let us consistently encourage them with the truth of God’s word while reminding them of their purpose.