Don't kill your kids
- 1 Samuel 2:25 (NASB)
- Psalms 94:12 (NASB)
- Proverbs 3:11 (NASB)
- Proverbs 5:11 (NASB)
- Proverbs 5:23 (NASB)
- Proverbs 6:23 (NASB)
- Proverbs 12:1 (NASB)
- Proverbs 13:18 (NASB)
- Proverbs 13:24 (NASB)
- Proverbs 15:10 (NASB)
- Proverbs 22:15 (NASB)
- Proverbs 23:13 (NASB)
- Proverbs 29:12 (NASB)
... the Lord desired to put them to death.
1 Samuel 2:25
In 1 Samuel 2 and 3 we read the story of the two sons of the priest Eli who had become total rebels but we still serving in the temple, or perhaps we should say serving themselves in the temple. They engaged in immorality, abused the people and dishonored the Lord to the point that "the Lord desired to put them to death."
If God desired to put them to death, why didn't he just do so? The context of the passage might give insight. Eli, their father, rebukes them for their behavior but they ignore him. Finally God sends a prophet to tell Eli that his failure to correct his sons has brought a curse upon all of Eli's family, present and future.
Perhaps the Lord withheld His hand of judgment to give Eli a chance to discipline the boys, to do whatever it takes to get them under control or out of authority. Parents, we have a responsibility to discipline our children before society (teachers, police, the courts) have to.
But, you might argue, Eli did rebuke the boys but they would not listen. It was Eli's duty to make sure they either changed their ways or were removed from their positions. He was old, not physically able to do so, but he could have called for help from the Israelite commnunity. There were plenty of big strong men who would have gladly stepped in and removed these boys from power and from the city if need be. But Eli "loved" his boys too much to see such punishment inflicted upon them. Such love is self-love, not love of the children.
When we fail to discipline our children we are only demonstrating that we love ourselves more than we love them. We do not want to inflict upon ourselves the guilt, hurt, sadness, possible rejection by our children that comes from disciplining them. If we fail to discipline them we only set them up to experience more severe discipline later and, like Eli, we bring a curse upon ourselves - the curse of rebellious children, the curse of children who have no respect for God because they did not learn to respect their parents.
Parents, love your children enough to take the difficult steps and discipline them. You cannot simply throw your hands up and say, "They won't listen to me." If that is the case, get a "bigger stick", call upon friends who can force them to listen. Eli would have been better to banish his sons to their fates wandering in the desert than to allow them to stay with him where they brought a curse on the nation and upon his entire family. In the desert, confronted with the price of their folly, there is a chance they would have repented and returned.
Proverbs 19:18; 29:17
Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death. Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul.
See also: Proverbs 29:12, 23:13, 22:15, 15:10, 13:18, 13:24, 12:1. 6:23, 5:23, 5:11-14, 3:11-12, Psalm 94:12
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