In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war,
David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army.
They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah.
But David remained in Jerusalem.”
2 Samuel 11:1 (NIV)
In the very best of homes there are times when a child will go astray and forsake the good counsel of wise and godly parents. Some misguided members of the church find it easy to blame the parents who have a child wander away from their parents’ teaching.
But is it right to always blame parents of a wayward child? Must we insist that if the parents had only been better at parenting, the child would doubtless have remained within their spiritual heritage?
I insist that we have no right to force godly parents to take blame for their children’s deviant behaviour. Some of the finest parents have seen their children deny in their lives what they were taught at home.
In fact the perfect Father, Who did everything possible to keep His child in the way of truth, had to watch as His son went sadly astray. The Father is God and the particular son I refer to is mighty King David.
At the time of year when Kings went to war, mighty King David stayed home—as our verse today tells us. Had David done his duty and led his army, he would never have sinned as he did. David fell during the time he relaxed at home when duty had called him to go out to war. Can we blame God for not being a good parent as we read of David’s kingdom falling down around his own bedroom? Certainly not!
How is it then that we let the perfect Parent off without blame for His son’s failures but we criticize a human parent when their child fails in life? It is this kind of erroneous criticism that has caused many godly people terrible heartache. They wrongly assume they must accept blame for their children’s sins.
When our children go away from the Lord, we are not necessarily to blame. Certainly we need to search our hearts and lives to be sure we have not been an evil example to our children—as David, at times, was to his. When the Lord does not show us that the fault lies with us for errant children, then surely we may take comfort in the knowledge that our loving, devoted, heavenly Father had some wayward children of His own.