By Kathy Varis
Today's Scripture: II Samuel 13:19
Central Thought: Failure to confront problems only makes them worse.
Have you ever been in a grocery store when an unruly toddler throws a tantrum or listened while a preschooler calls his mother names and refuses to do as she asks? It's upsetting for everyone. Children need discipline and boundaries so they feel safe and cared for. Parents need to deal with behavior issues while the child is small and moldable. A wise missionary friend told me once, 'Don't love yourself so much that you fail to discipline your children.” It hurts us to have to confront and discipline our children, but it's for their good that we must overcome our reluctance.
The account of King David and his older sons, Amnon and Absalom, illustrates the problem of overindulging and not disciplining children. Amnon, obsessed with his sister, Tamar, listens to his cousin's scheme, lures her into his house by deception, and rapes her. She begs him to do the right thing and not shame her, but he refuses to listen. She, the innocent victim, ends up at her brother Absalom's house ruined. When their father, David, hears about the incident, he's angry but does nothing to punish his oldest son. Two years later, Absalom sets up his own deceptive scenario and kills Amnon.
David's children counted on him for leadership, discipline, and justice. His failure to do so led to his daughter's rape, his son's death, and the eventual public humiliation of David by his son Absalom.
In our lives it's important to deal with problems while they're small instead of waiting till they've destroyed our lives.
Devotional Prayer: Help me Lord to deal with my problems and sins now so You can be reflected in my life.
Today's Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 13:1-39; John 17:1-26; Psalm 119:81-96; Proverbs 16:6-7