“Be strong, and show yourself a man, and keep the charge of the LORD your God, walking in His ways and keeping His statutes…” (1 Kings 2:2-3)
Father’s, how many times have you failed your son? How many times has your advice been less about him and more about your own pride? Or how many times have your failures made you feel inadequate to give advice at all? Of all that Scripture testifies about concerning David, Israel’s greatest king and “a man after God’s own heart”, it never claims his greatness as a father. In fact, in many ways, David’s greatest afflictions were his children. Those difficulties were often consequences of his sinful actions. I imagine due to instances in which he strayed from God’s will, failing to trust in a given moment, at times David must have felt unworthy to offer his children advice. Do you share that feeling? If past failures cause you to question your right, but more importantly, your sons need for godly advice, be encouraged. Be encouraged because though David shares many like experiences with you and me, he never stayed in the place where guilt kept him from doing what God would have him do. And you don’t have to either.
“Be strong, and show yourself a man, and keep the charge of the LORD your God, walking in His ways and keeping His statutes…” As David aged and neared death, it was Solomon, his son who would be Israel’s next king. In this passage, David sought to encourage Solomon as he prepared to assume the throne. He knew that the challenges Solomon would face would require bravery, but he also knew that blessing would only come by faithful obedience to the LORD.
If in all the advice you’ve given your son, you have never given the advice David gave Solomon in this passage, know that it’s never too late. Although he lived the consequences of his past failures, David always pressed on, understanding the completeness of both God’s forgiveness and faithfulness in spite of his own lack of both at given moments. You may be living the consequences of your past failures as a father. If so, accept them and start anew. Don’t miss the opportunity to leave your son with the most valuable advice you can give him. Your responsibility is not that he accepts it; Solomon didn’t heed all of David’s. It’s only that you give it. It doesn’t take a perfect father to instill Christian values in a son. It takes a committed father who begins each day asking his Heavenly Father for help. So, tell your son to be strong, to show himself a man, to keep the charge of the LORD and walk in His ways. And when he does, tell him to expect God’s blessing because our Heavenly Father keeps all His promises.
Father, failure is part of being an earthly father. I admit my many failures through the years and thank you that you have given forgiveness. Help me LORD to understand as David did how faithful you are in keeping your promises. Help me to seek to be in fellowship with you each day so that the counsel I give my son will be in accord with your will. Thank you for your grace and goodness each day.