Yesterday, I taught a message about “God’s Guidance for Fractured Fathers” from 2 Samuel 18:24–33. The story of David’s life is a perfect example of poor fatherhood, and I hope you and I can learn from his mistakes.
The Scripture teaches David was a “Man After God’s Own Heart.” His successes were well known—from rural shepherd—champion—king.
However, he also failed. He failed to bridle his lust and committed adultery with Bathsheba, and later arranged the murder of Uriah.
Yet, David’s greatest failure was as a Father. The Bible records David reaping the bitter fruit of his failure.
I hope you can learn with me about FIVE FATAL FLAWS OF DAVID AS A FATHER. Take inventory of your own life and commit to succeeding rather than failing as a father.
1. David Failed to Follow God’s Plan
David married an unbeliever, a pagan “Michal.”
Deuteronomy 7:3, You shall not intermarry with them, [pagans] giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons,
David established his marriage on shaky ground. A marriage without the dynamic of a spiritual relationship is on shaky ground from the beginning.
If you marry a child of the Devil you’ll have trouble with your father-in-law! For those of you still seeking a partner for your life, if God wills you to have a spouse, here is some clear biblical advice: Be the right person and you’ll find the right person.
2. David Failed to Fulfill God’s Position
The Scriptures teach that the Father/Husband is to be the head of the house.
David permitted his wife and servants and babysitters to serve as the head of his household. He never took an active role as the leader of the family. His son had no real father figure. David was a great leader in his monarchy, but failed his family. He may not have abdicated his throne, but he did abdicate his home.
Today, many fathers have dropped out. They turned over the reins of the family to someone else. The earthly father in the home is to be a representative of God the father.
3. David Failed to Facilitate God’s Punishment
Another failure by David as a father is that he failed to discipline his children. His leniency led to tragedy.
Amnon raped Tamar. Absalom then took care of his sister. However, David did nothing to punish Amnon.
Davis should have acted—Absalom did and murdered Amnon. Once again, David did nothing. This lack of discipline from David led to his son, Absalom’s continual rebellion, law-breaking, and overall rejection of authority.
This failure by David flies in the face of the teachings of Ephesians 6:4…
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
A. Be A Devoted Dad
Ephesians 6:4 says “do not provoke.” Children are not to be nagged constantly. Badgering your kids and perpetually finding fault in them is unwise and unbiblical.
Children are not to be discouraged by unreasonable demands. They’re not to be crushed by harsh criticism, but are to live in an atmosphere of love.
Disney World ought not be the happiest place on earth; the home should be. The father and his role as leader sets the tone of devotion and discipline to develop a culture of home as the happiest place on earth.
B. Be A Disciplinary Dad
Ephesians 6:4b, bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord
Proverbs 13:24, Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
Proverbs 29:15, The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
Proverbs 22:15, Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
4. David Failed to Furnish God’s Pattern
David did not set the proper example. His affair with Bathsheba is an example of this.
Exodus 34:7, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
David’s children repeated the sins of their father. Men, if you are a drunk, your kids will more likely be drunks. If you verbally abuse your wife, your son will be more likely to verbally abuse his wife.
5. David Failed to Function As God’s Priest
The father is to serve as the spiritual leader of the family.
A priest has two functions:
- Face the Altar: Present people to God
- Face the People: Present God to the people
Fathers, your number one ministry should be to your family by presenting God to your children and presenting your children to God.
How do you do this?
A. Present God to Your Children
Deuteronomy 6:6–7, 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Dads, lead your kids to Christ!
B. Present Your Children to God
Hebrews 7:25, Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
We present our children to God by intercessory prayer. How many of you are interceding for your family? Lead your family in intentional times of prayer.
What we need is FATHERS who will model the word of Joshua 24:15 . . .
And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond 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.”