Today’s Reading: 2 Samuel 16-18; John 5:1-24
David is a curiosity to me. To be honest, he doesn’t seem to always be the best parent. He lets his children do whatever they want, without punishment. There have been many examples of this in 2 Samuel. The one that takes the cake is when Absalom decides that he wants to become king. Instead of putting him in his place and making him respect and obey his father, David runs away from him, allowing Absalom to take control of Israel. He has no control over Absalom or his actions. And so David fears that his own son with take his life. What a horrifying place to be in. And what a loving heart David still seems to have. In the midst of a horrific battle that plights Israelite against Israelite, David tells his men to "Be gentle with the young man Absalom for my sake"(2 Samuel 18:5). Even at this point, he doesn’t want his son to die. He still seems to want to love and protect him. After Absalom death, David mourns his death as if he was a perfect son: “"O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!" (2 Samuel 18:33).
David seems to wear rose colored glasses when it comes to Absalom. Although I don’t condone killing ones son, I do think that David could have used a harsher hand when it came to keeping Absalom under control. Yes, the love of a parent is a wonderful thing, but doesn’t love also involve discipline?
What do you think? Do you see David in the wrong? What other examples of weak parenting can you find in 2 Samuel? What does that teach us today, as we raise our own children?
Lord, please give me the correct balance of unconditional love and discipline when it comes to raising my children so that they will grow up to serve and honor you with their lives.