And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” ESV 2 Samuel 18:33
I often write of how to shape our children for the future so that they might live the way God desires them to live. But what do we do when our children err from the path on which we set them? How do we handle the failure of our children? So much could be written on this subject, and I’ll try to address more in the future, but the first thing that comes to mind are observations on David’s response to the loss of his son Absalom in 2 Samuel 18.
Two things stand out from David’s response to Absalom’s death, and both tie nicely into the gospel. First is the undying love of a father for a sinful child. Absalom nearly destroyed David’s kingdom, occasioned the death of 20,000 men, and defiled ten of David’s concubines. He was one bad guy! Nevertheless, David’s love for his wayward son persisted up to the very end. This ties into the gospel because it demonstrates God’s great love for us, even when we sin. So often, we tend to believe God only loves us when we are good, and when we are bad we feel we have to work hard to earn His love again. Nothing could be further from the truth. David demonstrates God’s undying love for His children. Be encouraged in this regard. Secondly, David greatly mourned the death of Absalom, wishing he could have died in his son’s place. No father wants to bury his child. This relates to the gospel, because the same could be said of God and Jesus. Yes, God freely offered His Son to die for us, but this was in no way an easy decision. Lest we cheapen the grace of God, it’s incredibly important we remember the great emotional cost of our salvation. God loved His Son immensely and securing our salvation came at a tremendous price.
I hope these two thoughts draw your heart back to the gospel. If your child is straying from the faith, know that God shares your unfathomable love for your child. Know God gave Jesus to save your child. Be encouraged my friend.