Like Parent Like Child

“Then the king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept. And as he went, he said thus: “O my son Absalom–my son, my son Absalom–if only I had died in your place! O Absalom my son, my son!”

2 Samuel 18:33

There is an old saying that says, “what a parent does in moderation a child does in excess”. The bible tells us that the sins of the parents are transmitted to even the third and fourth generations. Don’t over react to that statement as what it means is that sin is environmental. Children learn more by what they see than anything else. David’s open sin with Bathsheba, though pleasurable for the moment brought consequences that would last far more than a lifetime…and ultimately played a major role in Absalom losing his life.

If only we would head the counsel of 1 Corinthians 10 and learn from the mistakes of others, loved one. Today’s message is simple. Pray for your kids, teach them the Word of God, raise them in the way of the Lord and above all else, model a faith that is real so that if your children followed in your footsteps they would be following you straight to the throne of God. As Dad’s and Mom’s we have a solemn responsibility to raise up a heritage to the Lord, to raise our children to follow God and the best way to get them there is to lead the way. It’s true that we all learn more by what we see than what we hear.

David like many a man has his heart set on conquering. As a king he has a job to do, a land to claim in the name of God. That’s all well and good but not at the expense of his family. God was with David in battle but as we have already read and know, David’s failure wasn’t in the battle, it was in his neglect of it. When he should have been out in battle leading the charge, David chose to stay in the comfort of his home far from the fight. The results were tragic and as chapter 18 shows us, the fruit bore out of that bad decision would have a lasting and tragic impact. The good news is David will learn from his mistakes, he will learn to trust the Lord and to be completely dependent upon Him and in the end God calls David “a man after My own heart.”

As parents, commit your children to the Lord and dedicate them to his service. Invite them to serve along side you and allow them to witness your life as you faithfully serve God. Train your children in the way they should go by learning their spiritual giftedness and their exercise knowing that they will not depart from that way as they won’t know any other way. Good habits are hard to break when they habits we practice daily.

There is an old saying that says, “We teach our children what we know but we reproduce in them who we are.” Yes, Dads and Moms, a picture is worth a thousand words in parenting. Model a faith that is real and pray that God would give you the spiritual insight needed to lead and guide your children in honoring God with their lives. Trust God that He will give you what you need when you need it. If you have blown it as a parent (and if we are all honest we all have many times), simply confess it to God and confess it to your children and let God knit your hearts back together again. Remember, our God is the God of reconciliation! Jesus restores, He redeems and He restores!

Where you have failed your kids seek forgiveness from them and where your kids have failed you offer forgiveness to them. Don’t live in guilt and condemnation, walk in the freedom of the Lord! His mercies are new every morning so get up and know…it’s a new day and God can make all things new. Nothing is too difficult for Him. Trust your family to Him and don’t lose heart.

If your parenting skills need sharpening today don’t let it get you down, just pick up your Bible and get into the God’s Word. Sharpen your sword of the Spirit (your ability to use the word of God) and then use it to cut out the sin that comes against your kids as you pray for them. His Word is powerful Dad and Mom so be careful how you use it. Don’t forget the sword cuts both ways! Speak words of life to your kids, cleanse them by speaking words of truth in love. Comfort them with God’s Word when they hurt, remove their doubts and fears by helping them see what a mighty God we serve! Remember this. Sometimes the best advice we can give is a hug!

Show your children the promises of God in the scriptures that are given to those that love God and who are called according to His purposes. Don’t exasperate your children; teach them by showing them by your godly example to walk with God. Take up the shield of faith for your family and protect them against the attacks of the enemy that come against us all by committing your kids to God in prayer.

Oh, how David must have wished he could have gone back to that one spring day and instead of staying at home enjoying the temporal pleasure of sin I know he too would have preferred to put on his armor and join in the good fight where he belonged. Let’s determine to learn from David’s mistake and stay in the fight for our families. Don’t give up and don’t give in Dad, and don’t lose heart Mom. Make a stand for your family together and ask God to help you provide a home life that your kids want to come home too. ‘Leave the light on” for them as the old saying goes. Even the prodigal knew he could return home! Just like Jesus is in heaven preparing a place for us, help your kids know you will always have a place for them in your home. When I visited my parents home I never had to knock as their home was always my home regardless of how old I was. Remember, it’s love that turns a house into a home! Lets pray for families everywhere that God would be the Lord of our homes as well as our hearts so that we, like Joshua can say…

And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Joshua 24:15


Michael Osthimer





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