King David was brilliant as a king, and a disaster as a father. One of the things that is very telling is what is not written when his kids mess up. The Bible tells us that David felt strong emotions, but he simply didn’t act on them. In fact, one of the most telling verses of inaction comes when his son Adonijah is trying to put himself on David’s throne —
His father had never interfered with him by asking, “Why do you behave as you do?” (1 Kings 1:6)
It takes courage to interfere with our kids when they are misbehaving.
So why don’t some dads interfere? I can think of a few reasons…
- They didn’t have a good relationship with their own father. In David’s case, his father Jesse didn’t think too highly of David. In fact, David was the overlooked, almost-forgotten son (1 Samuel 16:8-11).
- They’re too tired. David was so focused on building up Israel’s defenses, and defeating the bad guys, that he had nothing left emotionally and physically to interact with his kids. We need to make it our priority! John wrote: I have no greater joy than knowing my children all walk in the truth (3 John 4). Now that’s a great priority!
- Their past sins haunt them. David sinned against Bathsheba (like Amnon did against Tamar); David murdered Uriah (like Adonijah did Amnon). So perhaps he felt like he didn’t have the moral authority to interfere with his sons. But if you read some of the wise saying in Proverbs 6:20-29 and 7:1-5, they sound like a man who has had experience. Let your hindsight (good or bad) be your kids’ foresight.
- They think it’s too late. It’s never too late! Never! Apparently David learned this lesson in time, and taught his son Solomon (read Proverbs 4:3-4 and 1:1). As long as there is breath in your lungs, you should be your kids’ dad!
Dads, will you be courageous enough to loving interfere with your kids if they are getting off track?
Will you be courageous enough to make some changes in your schedule so that you can invest the time and energy and creativity necessary to raise them up?
Will you be courageous enough to confess your past sins, and not let them hold you back from speaking into your kids’ lives?
Will you be courageous enough to start today?
Dad, you kids need you to be involved! Be courageous enough to step into their lives.