In one of the more intense passages of Scripture, we are told a story of a time King David failed miserably on multiple levels as a parent. A lack of discernment left his daughter open to a debilitating sexual assault, and then David’s lack of action afterward left one son dead and another estranged (a separation which set into motion even more severe suffering and death in the years ahead). Beth Moore argues that David’s failure as a parent in these instances stemmed from a crushing burden of shame David felt over past sexual sin.
Moore asks how many of us modern-day parents have also been “hamstrung by shame” and allowed it to affect our ability to parent.
We “need to know what to do with how we feel,” Moore says in a clip taken from a teaching section she recorded on LIFE Today with James Robison.
In the short clip, Moore explains what she believes happened to David in the passage 2 Samuel 13. Years before, Moore explains, alluding to David’s taking Bathsheba from her husband Uriah, and then having Uriah killed, David sinned sexually. He repented for his actions, and we are assured that God forgave David, yet Moore says she believes David allowed the shame he felt to make him believe he had “lost the right to call sin a sin.”
So, when Tamar was raped by her half-brother, Amnon, David was immobilized by the lingering shame he felt over his own sexual sin. All he did, we are told, when he learned of the rape, was get mad. And, as Moore points out, simply getting mad and not acting did nothing for anyone’s good. Tamar’s brother, Absalom, watched David’s inaction and grew increasingly angered himself. A couple years later, Absalom had Amnon killed while Tamar languished in his household, having been reduced to a “desolate woman”. After the murder of Amnon, Absalom fled to a neighboring kingdom. Years later, he would conspire against David in an attempt to take the throne.
What David should have realized, Moore says, is that once he repented, he had “won back the right” to call out sin for what it is and reclaimed authority over his home. David could have said “Even if I did it wrong, this is what God says is right. And it is still what I’m going to insist upon to the degree I am able in my own house.” In fact, Moore says Amnon should have been incarcerated, which David had the power to facilitate.
Moore says especially in the area of sexual sin, parents are allowing the shame of past sin to incapacitate them from correcting their own children when they need it. And my goodness they need it sometimes. If David had corrected Amnon, he might not have met an untimely death. He might have repented and lived a fruitful life. If David had called out the violent act Amnon committed against Tamar, perhaps she would have been able to heal. And perhaps David wouldn’t have had to fight a crippling civil war to reclaim his throne from a bitter and wounded son who also met an untimely end.
So what about you, mom and dad—is there a particular area you feel inadequate to parent in? For the sake of your children and their children, take a moment to ask yourself: What do I need to bring before the Lord today?