Spiritual Director · August 1, 2017

Devote #73

On Parenting

Sometimes I wished someone would have written a book about “Being the Best Dad.” Fortunately, or unfortunately, it was never written. Neither was that book written for moms.

We tried, and failed. Sometimes we helped bring success to our children, but let’s face it, those times were more about the grace and favor of God, than anything we brought to the table. None of us are perfect as parents, though we sure try hard and wish our children understood that.

I thought of that this morning as I was reading 1 Chronicles 22.

Even though King David was loved and honored by God, he wasn’t a stellar father. He failed to bring some much needed discipline and correction, especially, to his sons. Absalom is a prime example. David shut Absalom out when he actually should have drawn him closer. Tragic mistake.

But in the 22nd chapter of 1 Chronicles we read, as David’s life was coming to a close, he passed the torch to his son Solomon who would be taking over the throne. David did a wonderful job in advising his son in not only living a good life, but a godly life. Here’s what he said,

“Solomon, my son, I now pray that the LORD your God will be with you and keep His promise to help you build a temple for Him. May He give you wisdom and knowledge, so that you can rule Israel according to His Law. If you obey the laws and teachings that the LORD gave Moses, you will be successful. Be strong and brave and don’t get discouraged or be afraid of anything.” —1 Chronicles 22:11-13

Most often us parents are better at giving our children “things”, instead of words and attention. David took the time to encourage Solomon in building the temple, but also to share some wisdom with him. Here are 4 things I noticed this dad shared with his son…

  1. He reminded his son of God’s promises. Our God promises to provide for us, protect us, guide us, fill us with joy, and give us so many other good gifts. Most of all, He promises salvation through faith in Jesus.
  2. He stressed the importance of wisdom. There is the world’s way which leads to death. Then there is the way which begins with the fear of the LORD and continues on to life, health, and peace.
  3. He shared the key to success: doing it God’s way. More than any other action, God desires our obedience. More than anything else, this assures us of God’s blessing.
  4. He encouraged him to proceed confidently. Since he could count on God’s promises, and since the LORD will always do what is good, Solomon could act without hesitation to carry out his father’s plan.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today

Make sure you love your children by telling them what matters most to you. It’s not always the “things” you give them that matter, but what you invest in them that really counts.

Help us to invest in our children the way You in invest in us. In Jesus name we ask this, Amen.

—Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

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Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.