1 Kings 1:5-6
Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I will be king”; and he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. (And his father had not rebuked him at any time by saying, “Why have you done so?” He was also very good-looking. His mother had borne him after Absalom.)
The sheriff’s office in a Texas city once distributed a list of rules entitled “How to Raise a Juvenile Delinquent in Your Own Family.” If that is your goal, it suggests, “Begin from infancy to give the child everything he wants. This will insure his believing that the world owes him a living. Pick up everything he leaves lying around. This will teach him he can always pass his responsibility on to others. Take his part against neighbors, teachers, policemen. They are all prejudiced against your child. He is a ‘free spirit’ and never wrong. Finally, prepare yourself for a life of grief. You’re going to have it.”
David apparently raised his son Adonijah by similar rules. Brought up in the pomp and ceremony of a royal court, surrounded by servants to do his bidding, funded by a nearly unlimited supply of wealth, Adonijah was a prime candidate to become a spoiled child. But what put the final seal on Adonijah’s fate was his father. It is said of David that he “had not rebuked him at any time.”
Fathers play a vital role in the disciplining of children, especially sons. Even though the dad often does not spend as much time in direct contact with a child as the mom does, his influence should never be underestimated. David’s son Solomon wrote, “My son, keep your father’s command, and do not forsake the law of your mother” (Prov. 6:20). The word command literally means “to teach with discipline.” Apparently Solomon learned something from his father’s failures.
If you are a father, don’t shirk your responsibility to teach with discipline. Let your children know you love them by the guidelines you set for them. Don’t be a father failure.
If you think it’s hard to live with your father, try living without one.
Martin A. Cisneros