Category Archives: Low on Function
Nature abhors a vacuum. I have seen it time and again. That is why God invented leadership, because Godly leadership fills that vacuum with goodness – IF it is good leadership. Not all leadership is Godly. After nearly 2 decades working as an assistant principal in a large suburban school district in North Texas, I have seen the results of poor or no leadership in the lives of children. I have dealt with children whose moms got involved with a man who was a poor leader and raped her children, while she turned her head. I have seen dads turn their head while while the mom is on drugs and do nothing to help the family other than to immerse himself into his job to cover his pain and provide an excuse not to have to be home. I have seen parents watch their daughters get involved in abusive relationships and do nothing to rescue their daughter. I have seen parents get so involved in drugs that they spend ALL of their money getting high, and leave nothing for the kids for food, and let their kids’ teeth begin to rot out (thank God for my friend the Christian dentist who fixed their teeth free of charge!). Yes, nature abhors a vacuum. And when it finds a vacuum, nature fills that vacuum with whatever the world will offer at the time. Have you seen what the world has to offer? I just named a small part of the list above. Ironically, just today details emerged about the young man arrensted in Tampa who was going to try to blow up his school on the fist day of classes. What is interesting is that when police arrived at the house to search the young man’s house and found all they were looking for, they “also found a marijuana growing operation” in the same house. How does something like that happen without a parent knwoing about it? Exactly – it would seem the parent knew. Leadership. The Bible tells us plainly in James 4:4, “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” That is partly because there is not much goodness in the world, and that is because man, by his own volition, put the world under the control of the evil one. So what does this have to do with families? Everything!
King David was a dad. He as a dad like his own dad. If you read my post from yesterday, you know that hios dad was not necessarily the best dad! That is how it works. Dads will be dad like their own dads. Moms will be moms like their own moms – good, bad or indifferent! Our job is to turn our parenting over to Jesus to let Him transform it. David did not get that. If you remember the story about Bathsheba, David started off that whole year on the wrong foot. David (the nation’s LEADER) should NEVER have taken himself out of the role of leader when times were getting tough.
1 Samuel 11:1-2, “In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David…remained at Jerusalem. 2 It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful…”
It only goes downhill from there. David abdicated his leadership. He took a back seat, and let nature have its way. Good leaders never let nature have its way. Because David let nature have its way, the nation was never the same and neither was his family. He has the affair with the woman who was named Bathsheba, he has her husband killed and pretends for over a year that it never happened until God sends a prophet to deal with his lack of leadership (and lack of communication!). As time goes on, one of David’s sons (Amnon) rapes his sister, and pretends like nothing happened (kinda like David did with Bathsheba!), and David, again, does nothing to address the issue for years. Finally, David’s other son (Absalom) takes matters into his own hands and kills the other son who did the raping. Time goes on, and because of Absalom’s anger against his dad, he tried to overthrow his dad’s rule. While David is on the run, he hears that Absalom is acting so immorally, that he has sex with all of David’s wives on the roof of his house in front of everybody, and when Absalom is finally killed, David weeps bitterly: “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” (1 Samuel 18:33).
Godly leadership. We all need it. It is not always easy. Godly leadership makes a family strong, and healthy. Godly leadership keeps the enemy at bay. Take a break for a minute, and nature will fill that void with all sorts of “stuff.” Take a lesson from King David. Peter wrote about leadership in the new testament as well:
1 Peter 5:1-5
So I exhort the elders [leaders] among you, as a fellow elder [leader] and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2 shepherd [lead] the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders [leaders]. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Some words are overused. Perhaps I should start a new phrase – “Family Low on Function” instead of the psychologically sterile “Dysfunctional Family.” There are many examples of such families, and I am no exception to being raised in one. It is my goal, however, to break that cycle in my current family. I would guess I am batting about 500 or so, which, in baseball, would get a multimillion dollar contract, right?
King David. Put into kingship by God, right? It is proof positive that a person does not have to have all their stuff together to be used by God. Whoo! I feel relieved! But did you ever wonder what David’s family was like? I am guessing not the best. Let’s look at some evidence:
When Samuel came to anoint the 2nd king in Israel, he asked Jesse to bring all of his sons to him. Samuel looks at each one, starting with the highest GQ factor first, and each time God tells Samuel “nope.” What? God isn’t moved by GQ factor? Judging by God’s comment in 1 Samuel 16:7 (But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”), I would say not!
1 Samuel 16:11-13, “Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.” 12 And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward.”
I think that is one of God’s pet projects – choosing the least to use His Power through! Look at Mary, mother of Jesus. Look at Gideon. Wandering Abraham. Fickle Peter. I could go on, but I diverge…back to “ruddy” David. Jesse had all of the “significant” sons come to see the Priest Samuel. Stop. What dad, in his “right” mind would leave a child out of this big event? Would you leave your youngest at home and take all of the “cool” kids to the 4th of July fireworks? Would you leave your youngest at home to watch the cats while the rest of the family went to see the president come to town? Jesse could have set up a rotating schedule of taking care of the sheep because after all, the directions were to bring ALL of his sons. He could have put a hired hand in charge for a day. But there was this question in Jesse’s mind. “David? What can he do? He is a runt. He can’t do nothin. I’ll just leave him out back with the sheeps – surely he can’t be the one God is going to anoint King, can he?” CAN HE? I am not sure what was wrong with David’s dad, but I am sure David was quite wounded because of it. I want to challenge each parent or parent-wannabe to think big about each of your kids. Pray for them. Even before they are born. During pregnancy, speak to them. Speak destiny into their lives. If you teach them right, raise them right, love them right, they will have Jesus living big inside of them.
I am sure David felt hurt being left out in the cold. Even in the summer when it is over 100 you can be left out in the cold. And I am pretty sure this was not the first time this happened. Neither would it be the last. Remember Goliath is still in the future, and where was David when all of that started? Stupid sheep. David’s dad sent him with food for his brothers, and when he got to the battle lines, he heard Goliath’s taunts, and it bothered David. David said, “Yo dudes, what’s up? And why is this giant talking about God this way? Isn’t anybody going to do anything?” His brother reminded him. “Dude, aren’t you supposed to be with the sheep?” Scripture records the interchange like the typical sibling squabble in a house of kids, “What!? Can’t I say ANYTHING??”
1 Samuel 17:26-30 “And David said to the men who stood by him, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” 27 And the people answered him in the same way, “So shall it be done to the man who kills him.”
28 Now Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men. And Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.” 29 And David said, “What have I done now? Was it not but a word?” 30 And he turned away from him toward another, and spoke in the same way, and the people answered him again as before.”
You gotta love the judgementalism in Eliab’s words. All he does is see David there, and he judges David as being there with “presumption” and “evil.” They definitely need some time away from each other! Kids pick up from parental attitudes. I think Eliab was only echoing his father’s attitude about David. Ever known someone who was the butt of jokes? You know when you are the runt, and always picked on by your brothers, and then left with the [stupid] sheep day after day, you get to talk a lot to God. Sometimes you can hear Him when He talks back to you! This is where the lifeline of David was developed with God. All you have to do is read the Psalms of David and you can hear his communion with his God. This is marked by his response to his brothers above: “For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” Did you catch the adjective there? “Living…” God is alive and well with David. From a relationship forged through time in the wilderness with God, through the dysfunctional familial relationships where David cried out to God, through the threats on his life from a lion and a bear, David and God were close. If your family is low on function, God is high on it! When David’s dad left him in the cold, God will not! When his brothers wrongly judged him, God will not! When people thought lowly of David, God will not! Break the cycle of low function! Plug into the functional God!