Summary: Jesus received praise and approval from His Father in heaven. This is a gift you cannot buy. John Drescher, one of the greatest authors of the 20th century, says that if he could go back and raise his children over he would be more free to express words of praise and appreciation.

Tal Bonham writes about how one night he slipped a poster under

the doors of each of his two teenage sons. The poster said-

Attention teenagers!

If you are tired of being hassled by

Unreasonable parents,

Now is the time for action!

Leave home and pay your own way

While you still know everything.

His boys got the message, and they all had a good laugh. It is a

common fantasy of parents, however, to dream of the day when the

kids are all grown up and able to leave the home and make it on their

own. Bonham tells of finding the essay on When The Kids Finally

Leave Home. He does not know the original author, but he added

some of his own thoughts, and this is what he wrote: "Some day when

the kids finally leave home, things are going to be a lot different

around our house. The garage won't be cluttered with bicycles and

garbage bags on their way to trash cans. I'll be able to park both

cars in just the right places and never again stumble over

skateboards, a bag of rabbit food, and egg shells from the garbage

bags that someone forgot to tie."

"Some day when the kids finally leave home the kitchen will be

incredibly neat. The sink will stay free of dirty dishes. The garbage

disposal won't get clogged up with rubber bands, paper clips, or a

stray spoon. The refrigerator won't be crowded with 4 cartons of

milk-all opened and half used. We won't loose the tops of jelly jars or

catsup bottles anymore. The honey will stay inside the container, and

no one will wonder again what's going to explode next in the

microwave oven." He goes on like this for 8 more paragraphs and

ends up feeling lonely for the kids who have finally left home.

In a nut shell the essay is saying that you can't live with them,

and you can't live without them. Kids have always been costly to

raise, and not just in money, but in nervous energy. Imagine what it

must have been like to raise Samson, who was a giant size Dennis the

Menace. Manoah, the father of Samson, was a typical father even

though he had the most non-typical son in the Old Testament.

Samson was the strongest man in history, and so I suppose he was

taking poor Manoah down in arm wrestling by the time he was 6 or 7.

I remember that is when I realized I was not young anymore when my

son could take me in arm wrestling. Before that I was the big daddy

and sons were merely kids to play with. But when they get stronger

than you, you know they are no longer kids.

I don't know when this happened to Manoah, but it would be a

shock to have a pre-teen beat you. So Manoah had a unique child

who was one of a kind when it came to strength. But he had all the

typical battles of the typical father that we want to examine for it can

be a comfort and a challenge to see the battles he faces in fatherhood.

His first battle was the battle of-


This is a common battle in the Bible and in our contemporary

world. All of the fathers of Israel had this battle-Abraham, Isaac and

Jacob. Millions of men today have a battle in becoming fathers

because of their own infertility, or that of their wives. The Bible deals

with this problem a lot so we can be aware and sympathetic with

those who long to be mothers and fathers, but who cannot because

their bodies do not function normally. In Bible times there were no

fertility drugs, and so all that people could do was to pray that God

would pave the way to parenthood.

Getting from being a non-father to becoming a father was often

the hardest battle, and it still is. I have 2 grandchildren who are the

result of a long and frustrating battle with the aid of experts.

Fatherhood and motherhood are not always easy, but are the results

of long and agonizing battles. It is important that we recognize this

and not assume that anyone can become a parent if they so choose.

Manoah's wife was sterile, and he never would have been a father but

by the grace of God. Fatherhood is a gift of God. Samson himself

never received this gift. He had a wife briefly, and he had a number

of lovers, but there is no record of any child. He is one of the greats

of faith in Heb. 11, but never a father. This is a comforting message

to those who never become fathers, because it means they can still be

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