Christian Parenting, Free Course Lesson 002
FAILURE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT GREAT LEADERS TO PARENT THEIR OWN CHILDREN
Parenting is a great challenge that parents face in the modern generation. This was also a challenge to some biblical characters. Some of the Bible saints are known to have done a wonderful work for God. They were faithful in furthering God’s cause. However, some of these Bible characters had serious problems with the training of their children. The first example was Aaron whose sons Nadab and Abihu brought strange fire to the sanctuary which kindled God’s anger and He killed them (Levi. 10:1-11; Num. 3:2-4; 26:60-61).
Eli, the priest at Shilo is another very good example of failing to parent his children in the Lord. No sin is mentioned in the Bible that Eli had committed. However, his children brought a reproach to the priestly ministry. Eli did not instruct his children well. He was over permissive. He was afraid to confront his sons. He confronted them at a very late stage and his confrontation was not effective to reform them (1 Sam. 2:12-13).
The third parent is Samuel who had stayed in the house of the Priest Eli. His children were Joel and Abijah (1 Sam. 8:1-3). Himself was well instructed by his parents so that all the evils that the sons of Eli did not have influence on him. However, Samuel himself had failed to instruct his children in the way of the Lord. The evils Samuel had seen in the house of Eli to his sons had not taught him a lesson to teach his children in way of the Lord. The three examples describe the failure of the clergy to teach their children.
King David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam. 13:14). He was also a prophet of God (2 Sam. 23:2). Apart from committing adultery he had failed in parenting. He never reprimanded nor corrected his children as he had done with Adonijah. As a result his children were spoiled was the case with Adonijah. He left his children on their own to do whatever pleased them (1 Kings 1:6 The Message).
The way David dealt with the murderous son, Absalom is a further good example of how he had failed to parent his children. He ordered Absalom to return to his house but he must not see his face anymore (2 Sam. 14:24). He did give Absalom a role that he was to play in his kingdom as the king’s son. Instead, Absalom made his own role. He rose early in the morning and stand on the city gate (2 Sam. 15:1-6). This was the time that Absalom decided to rebel. He decided to entice the people of Israel by giving a picture that he would be better king than his father.
Absalom stayed two years in Jerusalem without seeing his father (2 Sam. 14:28). David had failed to reconcile with his son. To discipline his son he decided not to have a contact with him. Absalom reacted by rebelling to what the father did to him.