The first step toward raising bad seeds and rebels, is that we can do nothing and be very successful at this. If this is our goal. David has been very good at doing nothing. Absalom was in Geshur for three years after murdering his brother Amnon. Joab, David’s general cooks up a scheme to get Absalom back to Jerusalem. That brings us to our second point.
If you want to raise a rebel, follow your friend's advice instead of God’s Word. In our lives, we usually have various people around us who want to give us advice. Proverbs 11:14 says, “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Joab uses David’s emotions to try to bring Absalom back. David may have convinced himself otherwise, but he allows himself to be manipulated. He doesn’t try to check in with the Word of God or even with his godly counselors.
David knew that the Law would not allow Absalom back in Israel, but he sets it aside in favor of a “friend’s” advice. David follows his own hearts and his own desires. Sounds a little willful, too.
And here we are right next to David again. When people want to do the wrong thing, we can talk to enough people who will twist things around for us and make it sound almost right.
The third step down this slippery slope is to allow the Outward (appearance) to be emphasized instead of the inward (heart and mind). David knew that “man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). And, in Proverbs 31:30 we read, “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.”
Absalom’s popularity was not based on the fact that he was Godly. It is not even based on the fact that he is the smartest or wisest lad in the country. His popularity is based solely on the fact that he was handsome. Kind of like the rockstars today. We delude ourselves into thinking that beauty or talent can overcome any sin or wrongdoing. What a low state the nation of Israel was in. Look at verses 25-26:
For all of his beauty, Absalom has turned out to be a horrible person. No one can regret this more than David.
- turn a blind eye to wrongdoing,
- we continually alter the rules of engagement,
- we constantly shift or blur the line between what is right and what is wrong, what is acceptable behavior and what is not, and
- we focus all of our attention (and theirs) on something the child can do, or how beautiful they are...
We do them a great disservice and injustice by not actively parenting. Parenting is not easy. There are difficult conversations you must have with your children. You must occasionally say "No" to some things.
Yes, we must let them be children, but no one wants a bad seed on their hands. Eventually they will probably outgrow you...if they live that long. It's a hard world out there.
Parenting is not easy. To paraphrase Betty Davis (I think)...it's a bumpy ride. But we must take our responsibilities seriously, for the good of our children.