1 Kings 1:5-6
Now Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, put himself forward and said, "I will be king." So he got chariots and horses ready, with fifty men to run ahead of him.
(His father had never interfered with him by asking, "Why do you behave as you do?"
King David had never asked Adonijah “why” he acted like he did. In other words, he had never addressed the issues of Adonijah’s heart.
Last week, I encouraged you as parents to “interfere” or get engaged with your children. That could take many different forms like teaching, explaining, or correcting. This week we want to dig a little deeper.
Children often do the wrong thing and they don’t know why. In their minds, they just did it. They may lie, they may hurt another child either physically or verbally, they may refuse to obey, they may choose any number of what the Bible calls evil deeds. Unless we help them interpret their deeds, they will not understand why they acted as they did.
Everyone is born with a selfish heart. David says, “I was conceived in sin.” He understood his own inability to do right without God’s help.
The middle letter of sin is “I.” And it is hereditary; we inherited this heart problem from those who have gone before us—as far back as Adam. We think we can be good without God. When we or our kids fail to be good, we have to face our humanity and our moral brokenness. One of two things happens: 1) we sear our consciences until we can do what we want without remorse, or 2) we become heart-broken and ready for change.
Sometimes when we correct our children, they are genuinely sorry for their actions and are beginning to face themselves and their sin. Our children need to hear from us that wrong actions show us that we need Christ; we need Him to give us a new heart. We need a heart that wants to do God’s will instead of our own will. And Jesus died on the cross to give us that kind of heart—one to do God’s will.
By the time Danny was about six years old, we had explained this to him on more than one occasion. Times of correction and punishment had been seasoned with this simple gospel presentation. He had shown interest but without fruit of repentance.
Then one day we were driving home from one of the various events that fill the lives of a growing family, probably a ballgame of one type or another. As we drove along, we were listening to our local Christian radio station, Power 88. A man on the radio began to talk about our need for Jesus Christ. He ended his short talk by encouraging listeners to call 1-800-NEEDHIM. Danny immediately said, “I want to call that man when we get home.”
When we arrived home, we dialed the number; and I listened in as the man on the other end spoke with Danny and led him to Christ. The seed had been sown many times, but the moment of heart-change was in God’s hands.
Use those moments of correction to address the heart; you never know when God will reap the harvest.