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Dates: April 3-7
Scripture: Proverbs 22:6

If we hope to get parenting right, we must know and follow the vital truths and principles God has recorded for us in His Word. The best parenting starts with discovering who your child is. Amazingly, in the process you may also discover yourself!

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Read 2 Samuel 13:1-30; 18:24-33

Tracing the downward steps in David's eroding family relationships, we now have Absalom murdering Amnon, a brother murdering a brother. "The sword will never depart out of your household, David." Here he is groaning under the ache of that prediction.  Now if that's not bad enough, after Absalom kills David's son, he then flees: rebellion. When Absalom fled, he went to Geshur. That's where his grandfather lived—his mother's father, who was a king in Geshur. He can't live at home, so he'll go stay with granddad while he licks his wounds and sets up his plan later on to lead a revolt against his daddy. And that's precisely what he does. Absalom leads a conspiracy against his father.

Later, Joab murders Absalom. The sword has still not departed from David's house. David dearly regrets the day he ever even looked at Bathsheba and carried on a year of deception. And finally, in the backwash of rape, conspiracy, rebellion, hatred, and murder, he's sitting alone in the palace, no doubt perspiring to the point of exhaustion, and in comes a runner bearing bad news. Absalom has been killed.

David is a beaten man. He's strung out, sobbing as if he's lost his mind. Every crutch is removed. He's at the bitter end, broken and bruised, twisted and confused. The harvesting of his sins is almost more than he can bear.

If you have taken lightly the grace of God, if you have tiptoed through the corridors of the kingdom, picking and choosing sin or righteousness at will, thinking grace covers it all, you've missed it, my friend. You've missed it by a mile. As a matter of fact, it's quite likely that you are harvesting the bitter fruit of the seeds of sin planted in the past. Perhaps right now you are living in a compromising situation, or right on the edge of one. You are skimming along the surface, hoping it'll never catch up. But God is not mocked. It will. Trust me on this will.

Turn to Him right now. Turn your life over to Him. Broken and bruised, twisted and confused, just lay it all out before Him. Ask Him to give you the grace and strength to face the consequences realistically and straight on.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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