1 Samuel 2:11-12
11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy ministered before the Lord under Eli the priest.
12 Eli's sons were wicked men; they had no regard for the Lord.
1 Samuel 3:11-14
11 And the Lord said to Samuel: "See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.
12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family--from beginning to end.
13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, and he failed to restrain them.
14 Therefore, I swore to the house of Eli, 'The guilt of Eli's house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.' "
Eli was used in a great way, but his sons were wicked men. How did this happen? May be he was too busy with his other responsibilities to have any concern for his kids.
1 Samuel 8:1-3
1 When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges for Israel.
2 The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba.
3 But his sons did not walk in his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.
We're also familiar with the story of David, Israel's greatest king, a man after God's own heart. We know that he married Saul's daughter Michal, after killing 200 Philistines. He married Abigail, after almost killing her husband Nabal of Carmel. He committed grievous sin with Bathsheba, murdered her husband and married her. What horrible things resulted in David's own family because of his family decisions.
We can have many reasons where these people went wrong. We may miss one thing. These men cared deeply about their children. Eli died when he heard the news. When Absalom fled Jerusalem, look at David's response . . .
2 Samuel 14:1
Joab son of Zeruiah knew that the king's heart longed for Absalom.
2 Samuel 18:33
The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: "O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you--O Absalom, my son, my son!"
David felt the pain of losing his son. He was emotionally attached to his family. It's often difficult to understand why these things happen, and it challenges our faith.
We feel many emotions. Sadness, fear, we fear for our own children, that they may be deceived. We need to be begging God for our children, to protect them from Satan. We need to be begging God for wisdom, to be able to set a godly example for our kids.
1 Corinthians 10:11
These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.
We are to be warned, we are to fear God.
1. Get Smart, Get Help
The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.
Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.
These are familiar. Let us not yawn when we hear these Scriptures again. They still apply! Our families, more than any area, is where we need input the most, and it's the hardest to take.
Sometimes we can see we are sentimental with our kids, and not hard-line with them. We could have compromised so much, and hadn't helped the children to be what they needed to be.
Our frustration is a lack of faith in God and in our children. If we as their father/mother don't believe in them, how is he going to believe in himself/herself?
God is by no means finished with us. We still have a long way to go.
If we're open, it doesn't take a genius to figure out what we need. Any spiritual brother can tell us what we need if we are open. It's always easier to see what others need to change than it is to see our own weaknesses.
Who is the person in our life who is helping us? If we put up barriers, get attitudes or become discouraged, it pushes people away. We need to crave input, respond positively.
1 Peter 4:8
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
He who fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge.