Absalom is well-known as the rebellious son of King David. His mother was Maacah who was the daughter of Talmai, the king of Geshur. Geshur is a kingdom that David raided many times while living in Ziklag. Interesting point is that David likely came to know Maacah during one of these raids which would have made their union the result of a political arrangement.
The story of Absalom is riddled with sadness and lacked boundaries. His sister was raped by her half-brother, Amnon, and David did nothing to bring justice to the situation (2 Sam. 13). As a result, Absalom felt he needed to retaliate against her assailant. When reading the story, Absalom is clearly rebellious and narcissistic, but it is also easy to see how David may have contributed to the rebellion of Absalom. Or, at least made the rebellion easier to justify for Absalom.
After killing Amnon, Absalom flees to Geshur and the court of his grandfather. After three years, he returns at the urging of Joab, and King David refuses to talk to him.
David’s actions here are a real “head-scratcher” because why would David bring him back only to ignore him. Or, why would David do nothing when his daughter was raped. Furthermore, David makes no move to rectify. Therefore, any anger or bitterness that was festering in Absalom would have plenty of fuel to ignite a complete rebellion.
In Geshur, Absalom would have been occupied with serving his grandfather. In Jerusalem, he had plenty of time to rehearse and meditate on the seed of his anger which would fan the flames of his rebellion.
Parents do this today. In our anger, pride, and ignorance we fan the flames of anger by not reaching out to our children to maintain relevance in their lives. Relevance comes when you maintain your standing with them to actually comment and encourage them in daily life. That relevance is maintained by talking. And, sometimes the most powerful launch point to establishing relevance is simply saying sorry.
Time gives you relevance. By spending time with your children, you build a relationship that provides a platform to speak into their lives. Now, when I say time, I am not referring to time doing what you want to do. For instance, you spend time with them working on fences or cleaning house. That is not the same.
Do something with them that they want to do. It can be simply going out to eat or walking a toy store. It can even be sharing a hobby that they love. The point here is that it is something the child genuine wants to do and not something they are forced into. Therefore, that might include you taking up a new hobby; learning a video game; or watching a show you don’t enjoy. But, it is worth it!
Through this time a relationship, and consequently, your relevance to them, is maintained and fertilized by communicating and asking them questions.
Rebellion and anger is fed through not talking, so talk. It is really important! You may be in a spot in which your relationship with your child is characterized by anger, and you don’t feel like they will ever agree to spend time with you. Well, in that case, it might be time to be a little more forceful, subtly. For instance, maybe you take a hobby or game or an interest in something they love, then start a conversation with them about whatever that is. Get creative! Don’t underestimate the impact of this in the relationship with your children.
PS— I encourage you to start strategically praying scripture for your children each day. I believe you’ll be amazed at how much God will work in your own heart towards them and in their hearts as well through this exercise. Leslie has written a 30 day series to help walk you through doing just that. Click below to get started.