Confessions of a ‘Good Dad’
So here it goes … I am not a perfect father. I have made many mistakes over my lifetime, and I have also made many mistakes since becoming a father. Who am I to teach my kids how to live their lives?
Solomon had the dilemma. As we know Solomon was granted wisdom beyond most human beings. Yet he flittered away that wisdom wasting it on human excess and pleasures- particularly that of exotic women who led him astray in his worship of Yahweh. Considering the type of sins he committed, who was he to be teaching his son?
Yet that is what we see him doing. Consider the following verses.
Proverbs 2:1 (ESV) My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you …
Proverbs 3:1 (ESV) My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments.
Proverbs 3:21 (ESV) My son, do not lose sight of these— keep sound wisdom and discretion
Proverbs 4:1 (ESV) Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight.
And we could go on with more references. What gave Solomon the right to be dispensing advice to his son in light of his many indiscretions? There are two reasons. First Solomon, under the Deuteronomic covenant was authorized to do so by God (see Deuteronomy 6:4-9). As a father under the covenant, he was required to keep the commands and teachings of Yahweh before his children continuously. He was to discuss the applications of the scripture to his children as the family went through their daily activities (see Deut. 6:7). So first and foremost, Solomon was obligated to do this by virtue of being a dad.
But how could Solomon’s teachings have any credibility if he failed to keep them himself? That is our second reason- through confession. Even our failures can be testimony to the truthfulness and faithfulness of God if we are willing to confess our sins. The Ecclesiastes chapter is a synopsis of his life. Within it, Solomon confesses that he pursued pleasure and wealth. Ecclesiastes 2:8 (ESV) 8 I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines, the delight of the sons of man. He confesses he tried to find his identity in being the wisest and most intellectual. Ecclesiastes 2:15-16 (ESV) 15 Then I said in my heart, “What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?” And I said in my heart that this also is vanity. 16 For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool!. He tried to find meaning in his work and what he produced. Ecclesiastes 2:22-23 (ESV) 22 What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? 23 For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. So Solomon affirms that the pursuit of these things is vanity upon vanity- it is all human pride. What Solomon figured out what was most important was this truth Ecclesiastes 12:13 (ESV) 13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. Jesus would call this loving the Lord with all your heart, strength and might (Matthew 22:37-38). Through his confession, Solomon testified that the Lord’s way of living was the correct way of living. He found everything else to be vanity.
So dads, we know you are failures. We know you have sin. But don’t let that keep you from instructing your son’s or daughter’s heart. There has only been one perfect Father. Allow your weaknesses and inadequacies to point towards him.
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 1:7-2:2 (ESV).