Raising Daniels and studying Daniel’s life as inspiration is important for Christian parents to do in the current world – and living as Daniels ourselves should be important to us as adult Christians, too! Remember the song “dare to be a Daniel, Dare to stand alone!”?
Most are familiar with the story of Daniel in the Bible. Have you ever stopped and thought about his circumstances and the way he handled them?
Imagine a child, perhaps barely a teen, taken captive by strange people with strange beliefs and yet he stood firm on the truth of his upbringing. I desire to be brave like Daniel and to raise my children to be brave, too!
This article/Bible Study is sponsored by Minno. All opinions and experiences are my own.
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Raising Daniels, Living as Daniels – A Study Of Daniel For Parents & Adults
What does it mean to raise our children to be like Daniel? What are some ways we can encourage them to stand firm even when separated from us, surrounded by strangers and unbiblical beliefs?
To find our answers and encouragement, let’s read the book of Daniel (it is a short book) and look at how Daniel responded to his challenges. I am not going to comment on every verse, but rather I will give my thoughts on each chapter (there are twelve) and the things that stand out to me in the text as lessons for myself as a parent and Christian.
I think it is important to note that the overall lesson that stands out to me is that Daniel knew God’s Word and that we should endeavor to teach the Word to our children starting at birth by reading the Bible to them and through the example of our actions of living out God’s will.
Bible Study Resources
In chapter one, when we are introduced to Daniel, we learn he is a child (but seems to be an adult throughout the rest of the book, therefore he is a good example for adults, too). We read nothing of a fight or Daniel resisting when taken captive by a foreign government but he did boldly make a request so that he would not defile himself.
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Ch.1 V.8
- Be bold enough to make reasonable requests of those in authority (when it has to do with obeying God) without being disrespectful.
- Obey God as much as is humanly possible (making every attempt to do so) trusting God with the outcome.
In chapter two, we see Daniel’s trust in God revealed when he is faced with execution yet he petitions the Lord for rescue. We also see that Daniel glorifies God rather than himself when he is given the wisdom to help the king.
Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever:
for wisdom and might are his:
and he changeth the times and the seasons:
he removeth kings, and setteth up kings:
he giveth wisdom unto the wise,
and knowledge to them that know understanding:
he revealeth the deep and secret things:
he knoweth what is in the darkness,
and the light dwelleth with him.
I thank thee, and praise thee,
O thou God of my fathers,
who hast given me wisdom and might,
and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee:
for thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter. Ch.1 Vs.21-23
- Bring everything to the Lord in prayer and ask for wisdom.
- Give God thanks and glory for His gifts.
In chapter three, we are told a story about Daniel’s friends and we learn Raising Daniels is simply another way of saying we are raising godly humans. The friends of Daniel also showed great courage and obeyed God rather than men about who to worship, even though everyone else was worshipping the king/idols. They chose to face a fiery furnace knowing that their lives were in God’s hands. God chose to save them from the furnace and preserve their lives so that His power could be revealed to the heathens, but they declared obedience to God regardless of whether God saved their physical lives.
Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. Ch.3 V.28
- We should not fear death or physical harm when obeying God.
- God is the taker & giver of life and when we trust in Jesus & know that our eternity is secure, we need not fear death.
In chapter four, it is interesting to note that this chapter records a public statement from Nebuchadnezzar of what he experienced and witnessed from Daniel and God. Daniel once again helped the king and bravely stated that the king should seek to do God’s will and the king soon learned that Daniel was right.
Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity. Ch.4 V27
- The life of a Christian influences others and we should act humbly & wisely with that knowledge.
- We should care enough about the soul of a heathen, even our captor, to preach the Gospel Truth to them in love.
In chapter five, Daniel is called on again to help the king (now Nebuchadnezzar’s son who had forgotten the revelation of his father) and he boldly rebukes & declares truth to the new king. He uses his gifts from God to interpret the writing on the wall and God’s power is revealed. Raising Daniels who will not shy away from confrontation when it is needed is important!
This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. Ch.5 Vs.26-28
- God is in control of all kingdoms and He puts the rulers in place or removes them.
- We should not be anxious when it seems that governing powers are against God and us because … “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
In chapter six, we read the most familiar story of Daniel. A new king is in power who loved Daniel, and new opportunities for God to use Daniel to glorify His name are at play.
Daniel lived a life of peace and truth without fault according to the law of man. Jealous men had to make one of God’s laws a crime in order to make Daniel a “criminal”.
Daniel openly disobeyed the law of man in order to obey the law of God. He would have willingly died as a so-called criminal rather than to die as an unrighteous man before God.
We all know how he was thrown into the lion’s den to be devoured, yet God chose to close the mouth of the lions so that Daniel’s life could be a testament to all of us to live boldly in obedience to God. “Be always sure you are right – then go ahead.” to quote Davy Crockett.
Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God. Ch.6 V.5
- We are to obey the law of the land as long as it does not go against God’s law.
- We are to obey God’s law even if it goes against the law of the land.
In chapter seven, Daniel experiences a vision that troubles him and, aside from the whole vision, I found the very last verse interesting. It seems to stand out to be as an example of trusting in the Lord even when you do not understand. Raising Daniels also means raising children who trust in God more than their own emotions (fear, desire, etc.).
Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart. Ch.7 V.28
- Even when we are troubled over a matter, no matter how big or small, we can practice self-control and not let it dictate our actions.
- Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
In chapter eight, another vision is described. I find it inspiring that in the midst of spiritual & physical fatigue Daniel still goes about the king’s business. How often parents/Christians, in general, are filled with spiritual burdens and endure sleepless nights, yet must go about the King’s business!
And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it. Ch.8 V27
- Perseverance and long-suffering are both challenges and qualities parents must(will) learn.
- We should never do less than our best in the tasks God puts before us.
In chapter nine, Daniel prays for the children of God. He has lived most of his life among the heathen people, yet he repents on behalf of his people. Raising Daniels who are not self-righteous is another key focus.
and I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; we have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: Ch.9 Vs.4-5
- Repentance within a nation starts with us Christians.
- We must pray for the church and for our leaders.
In chapter ten, Daniel has another vision and is ministered to by a being (angel?). How often we feel alone, yet God’s army is by our side strengthening us the entire time!
Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me. Ch. 10. V.18
- Do not give up, have faith that God is fighting for our sanctification & His glory even when we do not see it.
- “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
In chapter eleven, Daniel is the right-hand man to the king. He is advising and guiding the king. Raising Daniels that work alongside pagans with kindness and love is important.
Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him. Ch.11 V.1
- In every position we may be placed we should do our best.
- Christians can be used in positions of power, authority, and government to bring glory to God and fulfill His will.
In chapter twelve, Daniel witnesses a vision of the second Advent of Christ, and like us, he does not know when it will happen. Like us, he is told to continue on in doing what is right till the end and then rest.
But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days. Ch.12 V.13
- We are on earth to live for and glorify God.
- In raising children, in relationships, in actions, in choices, in worship, in work, in homemaking, in homeschooling, in marriage, in the community … our mission is always the same: to love others through actions.
Love is an action (1 Corinthians 13). To me, love means caring more about someone’s soul than their attitude or my own emotions.
I try to ask myself “what feeds their soul at this moment? what does their soul need?”. I desire to always act, speak, and do what points others – especially my children – to Jesus. Raising Daniels who will be humble yet bold, to speak the truth in love, will be most successful if we act those ways ourselves and teach them by example.
From the movies we watch and let our children watch, to the books we read and let our children read – we are either encouraging faith or discouraging it. May we seek righteousness in all we consume and partake of!
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)
Thank you for walking through the book of Daniel with me to seek encouragement in raising Daniels! I literally shared my Bible study notes here with you in real-time as I read through the scriptures, so this is straight from my heart.
I admit that not every chapter immediately offered me lessons in parenting and I was challenged to seek what God wanted me to see as well as the lessons for Christians in general, but I found that I did see tidbits of encouragement, inspiration, and examples for living a godly life and raising godly children.
Of course, the book of Daniel is filled with God’s truth and promises without my concise determination to use it as a guide to raising Daniels. It is a mighty testimony to God’s revelation throughout time – from beginning to end!
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