I was reading once again from John Maxwell’s book, Running with the Giants. This week’s chapter was on David, and the chapter title was “You Can Overcome the Limitations Others Put on You.”
In this chapter, John Maxwell shares how David overcame limitations that his brothers, Saul the king, and Goliath thought he had. However, it was the section on how Jesse did not think that David had king-potential that really made me think about my own parenting.
John Maxwell starts out the section saying, “Are you someone who feels the pain of having a parent not believe in you?” And I thought, “Do my kids think I don’t believe in them?” My kids are normal, ordinary kids, but are they not doing something they think they can do or they might want to try because I haven’t showed them that I think they can do it?
I feel like there is a fine balance in encouraging your kids to do something that you know they are not gifted for and that they will fail in because it is not their thing and discouraging a kid that can do more if we would only show faith that they are capable of doing amazing things with God’s help. I have seen parents “believe” their kids can do wonderful accomplishments and those kids feel like they can never measure up to parent’s expectations. That is not what we want to do. But I also don’t want to be the parent that says, “You can never do that. It’s not for you.” It’s a tricky balance between not limiting a child but also shaping a child to see where God is directing and guiding them for their gifts and talents.
Even though Jesse “limited” David in not thinking David would be Samuel’s choice for a king, I think it was a natural conclusion Jesse had come to. Samuel told him that one of his sons would be the next king. Wouldn’t you assume as well that Samuel would want a grown man that was strong and already a leader and not a boy that was out watching sheep? I don’t fault Jesse for thinking the way he did. Instead, I give him credit for being a good parent.
We know Jesse had good parenting skills in that all of his older sons looked like king material: probably great leaders, trustworthy and hard-working. We know that David was responsible and brave in taking care of the sheep from predators. And we see God’s testimony of David in I Samuel 16:7 where he says to Samuel,
Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the man seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
David had a good heart – and the parenting of Jesse had to do something to shape that good heart.
As a parent looking at the example of Jesse and how the son with the good heart got chosen to be the next king, I came away with the lesson of not focusing so much on whether or not I am limiting my kids, but rather am I helping my kids to have good hearts?
If they have a good heart, they will be lead of the Lord to do what He will have them to do. They will have the faith and courage of David to tackle giants that look opposing to everyone else. They will not let others keep them from what God would have them to do. The important thing is how are their hearts?
Here are the rest of the lessons from the book Running with the Giants by John Maxwell:
Last week’s party was very low probably due to it being a holiday week. I really enjoyed reading I Know Exactly Where I Want To Be from Becoming Press. Go give it a read!
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