1 Kings 1
Even though he is called a man after God’s own heart, clearly David was far from perfect. His marital and parental roles were particularly full of examples of what not to do.
1 Kings 1:6 tells us that David never rebuked his son or asked, “Why have you done this?” He was the original “cool parent” who let his offspring follow their hearts. Then, just as now, their hearts led them to tragedy over and over.
I’ve heard it said that when it comes to raising our children in the faith, it is more likely “caught than taught.” The idea is that regardless of what you tell your children, how often you have them in church, or how many years they spend in Christian school, what will most likely determine the course of their faith is what they see in you. Not what they see when you are in church on Sunday, even if you’re behind the pulpit, but what they see at home, when no one but they and God are watching.
That is a terrifying thought for most of us, if we’re honest with ourselves, because we recognize that we make mistakes every day. The key is not that you live perfectly before them, but that you acknowledge the times you fall short. I don’t mean the kind of acknowledgment which says, “That’s just me doing me. I am who I am,” and then continues in the same sin day after day. We must acknowledge that it is wrong, and repent of it. We must model for our children the truth that we all fall short, but God is gracious to forgive, and His Grace and Holy Spirit enable us to break the chain of sin in our life.
We don’t have to worry about political intrigue within the family, one son plotting the destruction of others for the sake of the throne, but we must consider whether we are falling in to David’s error of failing to offer loving rebuke, failing to set a positive example and to demonstrate repentance before our children.