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Thursday, June 16, 2011

His Father Never Interfered

Several weeks ago in a women's Bible study, we were reading 1 Kings 1:1.  The chapter deals with King David and his family.  Something struck me as odd in verse six, "(His father had never interfered with him by asking, “Why do you behave as you do?” He was also very handsome and was born next after Absalom.)".  The verse in the 1984 New International Version has this verse in parentheses.

This whole passage is about King David being old and how a young woman was brought in to help care for him.  One of his sons, Adonijah, decided he wanted to be king, even though his father was still alive, and immediately took on the role of king.  (It appears to be that he wanted to be king because of the young women, but it's not actually said.  Chapter 2 tells more about the woman.) Verse six is put in right after Adonijah takes on that role - the verse is inserted in there by the author (inspired by God, of course) to imply that his father, David, didn't ever question Adonijah about his behavior.  He most likely never rebuked him for his behavior, either, and now that failure to discipline has backfired. 

What Adonijah didn't realize is that his (half) brother, Solomon was to be the king.  That was God's plan.  Later on, in chapter 2, Solomon's mother, Bathsheba, asks the new king for a special favor for her (step) son, Adonijah.  She asks that the young woman, Abishag, be given to Adonijah as a wife.  This makes Solomon very angry and he had Adonijah killed that very day!

This story was interesting to me.  Even though King David was a man after God's own heart, he suffered many terrible consequences in his life because of his own sin and the sins of his children which he refused to address.  (II Samuel 13:21 and 14:33)  Why does it seem that David refused to become involved in his child's discipline?  Maybe David felt he had other more important things to do.  Maybe he felt the king shouldn't have to address problems with children. Maybe he left all of the discipline to his wives?

Oftentimes in today's world, parents 'never interfer' with their children.  They never ask them, "Why are you acting that way?" or "What are you doing?".  Too many parents allow the children to make the rules and set the boundaries with little or no consequences.

Parents - both fathers and mothers - we have a God-given responsibility and obligation to teach, train, and yes, discipline, our children. 

Children don't need parents who want to be friends to their children.  They don't need parents who act immature like their peers do.  They need positive role models who discipline with love.  They need parents who will set limits and discipline in love and because they want the best for their children.

Children need parents who have high expectations for them.  Not unreachable, outlandish expectations, but expectations of goals in life and expectations of their moral character. 

Children need parents who are spiritual giants, whose faith never wavers, who puts their faith in the Lord and who have given their lives to Him. 

Children need parents who are walking in the example of Jesus and who "Shine Like Stars" for him each and every day. 

Children need parents who interfere.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Ephesians 6:1 (NIV 1984)

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4 (NLT)


Wa Wa Waughs said...

That is interesting that you brought that that I have 2 in college we are trying to let them make more decisions on their own and we do not question them much but pray a lot more! But there are several characters in the Bible that had that same problem - Eli, for example. It is a good reminder that we never stop being parents. I hope that my kids will ask for advice when they need it, but I don't plan on giving it to them all the time! Tough stuff.

Lori said...

That is true! I'm sure it is tough (I'll find out soon!), but that's what's best for them and what we've raised them to do - be adults.

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