Words to Live By

My sons hear me say lots of things.  They have gotten very accustomed to my voice.

I was amazed at how even last night, all three of my children sat through an entire worship service on the front row where Daddy preached.  They stayed quiet and content the whole time.  I was so proud of them!

While my sons at age 6 hear me give instructions on reading, chores, sports, and other areas of training, I always wonder what they will hear me say the most.  If I were to go away, what would be my final words they heard?  How would they summarize my life or the way I taught them?

I hope maybe something like this:

Great Fatherly Advice

On his deathbed, David gave his son, Solomon, great fatherly advice to live by in uncertain times.  David knew what it was like to endure through difficult seasons of life.  Through successes and failures, David had numerous life lessons to pass down to the next generation.

What are some of the major events from the life of David (the good, the bad, and the ugly)?  Think about it:  

  • GOOD (good stuff David did well):
  • BAD (bad stuff that happened to David):
  • UGLY (ugly stuff David did himself):

In David’s last days, what do you think he would attempt to communicate with his children?  What words of wisdom would he leave them?

 Read 1 Kings 2:1-4 and listen to some of David’s final words to his son, Solomon.

1 Kings 2:1 When David’s time to die drew near, he commanded Solomon his son, saying, “I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man, and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn, that the Lord may establish his word that he spoke concerning me, saying,‘If your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’

David told Solomon that he was “going the way of all the earth” (1 Kings 2:2).  He was going to die.  This life wouldn’t last forever.  This is important to teach our children so they can live for things that outlive them.

David also instructed Solomon to obey God’s commandments (1 Kings 2:3).  While all commandments are important, some of them are more commonly broken at different stages of life.  What commandments do you need to repeat to elementary-aged children?  Teenagers?  Adult children?

“We must never forget that by encouraging our children to walk with God, we are asking them to intentionally travel against the cultural tide.”  –The Love Dare for Parents, Day 35

Did you catch that quote above?  Have you ever considered how do we best prepare our children to follow God’s commandments when it is not popular in a culture to do so?

David tells Solomon that if he lives a life of obedience, he will be successful in everything he does and everywhere that he goes.  What does that success look like?  Because there are two approaches to this.  You can try to encourage them for worldly success or biblical success.  Which path will you lead your children down?  


You can train your children to obtain worldly success, and in some ways, it’s much easier to grasp than biblical success.  But it won’t last them.  Ultimately, it won’t satisfy them either.

Lord, help me as a father.

Please help me lead Obadiah and Eli to be strong, and show themselves men, and that they would keep the charge of the LORD their God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that they may prosper in all that they do and wherever they turn.

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