1 Samuel 8:3
“And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.”
If any children should have turned out right, you would think that Samuel’s children should have been those children. Their dad was the prophet of Israel. According to the Scriptures, God often spoke to their dad and led him as he led Israel. You would think that boys who grew up in a godly home like Samuel’s would want to be just like their dad.
However, the verse above says that “his sons walked not in his ways.” You can only imagine Samuel’s broken heart when he discovered the immoral lifestyle his boys lived. The lifestyle that his boys lived was so bad that the people of the land used it against Samuel to demand a king to reign over them. Certainly, Samuel wasn’t a sinless father, but he was a good one. He wanted the best for his children. He tried to help them make it in life, but for whatever reason, in spite of all that Samuel did for his boys, they chose to walk in another way.
This story is played out in homes over and over again. There are scores of parents who served the LORD, and yet their children chose not to walk in their ways. In fact, many of these children chose to throw the scriptural lifestyle in their parents face as the reason they chose to walk in the way of the world. I would like to point out a couple things to every parent and child whose names could have replaced the names in Samuel’s home.
First, just because your children don’t walk in your ways doesn’t mean that you were a bad parent. Many parents live their lives wondering what they could have done differently, but let me plainly point out that your children had their choice. Were you the “perfect” parent who never did anything wrong? Of course not; however, there is no parent who didn’t do wrong. You can blame yourself and question how you raised your children; you could certainly have done some things differently, but so could the parents whose children chose to serve the LORD. Stop blaming yourself and what you did for the reason your children are living in the world.
Second, the way of the LORD is not at fault. Too many parents want to change how they live to try to woo a wayward child back, but that will do nothing but validate their rebelliousness. My friend, there is nothing wrong with the way of the LORD. I refuse to blame your dedication to the ministry as the reason for your children turning out wrong. Why is it that nobody blames the parents who are dedicated to the business world as the reason children for their turning out wrong? It is not your dedication and time that caused a child to go wrong. Satan loves it when people foolishly say not to lose your children for the ministry. Children never go wrong because their parents did too much right, but they go wrong because they choose the world.
Third, the reason children go bad is because they chose to turn aside and walk in another way. Let’s place the blame where it should be placed, and that is on the individual who chose to go the way of the world. The reason a child lives in the world is because they have a rebellious heart. The old paths of holy living and dedicated service to God are not the fault of wayward children, but rebelliousness is the fault. Let me encourage you not to blame the way or the action of doing right and realize the cause is the heart of the child who chooses to go that way.