Most Christians are familiar with the story of David and Goliath. It is the story of the underdog conquering the giant with the help of the Lord. It may seem as if it only has a surface lesson and application for our lives. However, if we take a closer look, we see a deeper lesson. We see a lesson on faith much deeper than the words on the page.
“And David said, ‘The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said to David, ‘Go, and the Lord be with you.’ Then Saul clothed David with his armor; he put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail. And David belted on his sword over his armor, and he tried in vain to go, for he was not used to them. Then David said to Saul, ‘I cannot go with these; for I am not used to them.’ And David put them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, and chose five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in his shepherd’s bag or wallet; his sling was in his hand, and he drew near to the Philistine.” (I Samuel 17: 37-40)
David goes to feed his brothers but finds himself volunteering to fight a giant. We, as Christians, are fighting a battle daily. We fight the one who many avoid and from which they run in fear. Satan “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (I Peter 5:8) I imagine Goliath having this type of character and demeanor as he dared them to send someone to fight.
“And the Philistine said, ‘I defy the ranks of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.’” (I Sam 17:10)
David accepts the challenge. When David approaches his enemy, he is handed Saul’s weapons and armor. He is provided with everything he needs to engage in the attack. The only thing David has that belonged to him is his sword. Every single piece of equipment for the battle that David wore belonged to someone else. David could not fight the battle using another person’s gear. David has his own way of fighting. He had his own faith. He could not fight his enemy using equipment that was too heavy for him. He could not carry someone else’s items. We, likewise, cannot carry someone else’s faith. It will not fit.
When we see this scene as parents, we need to remember the lesson taught in this scene. We cannot fight the battle with someone else’s weapons. We must fight with our own items. The Lord gives us faith. He does not give us someone else’s faith and drape it around us like a winter coat. He gives us our own faith. He hands us our own weapons and our own relationship with the Lord. As parents, we want to raise our children in the faith, give them our faith so they grow and have eternal life, and see them live to fight with an inherited faith. We want to put our armor of faith on them because we believe it will help them win the war. Inherited faith is not a reality. They must carry their own faith. They must own it.
We inherit the knowledge of the faith from our parents, priests, and loved ones who share it with us. We cannot inherit a faith life from our parents or others. Saul’s battle gear was too heavy for him to carry. David obviously knew how to use these weapons and armor. It just did not fit him so he was unable to use them. Our faith does not properly fit our children. It is our faith to carry, not theirs. David took off Goliath’s armor and picked up his own weapons. It was his weapons, not those of Saul, which defeated the giant. If we allow our children to carry their own faith, to maintain their own relationship with the Lord, and to put on their own set of the armor of God, they will win the battle. But first, the armor must fit perfectly.
Parents, pray constantly and daily for your children. Live your faith in your home, workplace, in your community, and at church. Let your children see how to build a life on faith and they will be able to properly obtain their own faith that fits them.