Parents and Children

There are good parents and bad parents, good children and bad children; obviously these can be combined in four ways, and examples can be given from the Scriptures that illustrate these four possible combinations of parents and children.

Bad parent, bad child. We may mention the various kings of the northern kingdom, namely Israel. The kingship passed from family to family, but sometimes a son was proclaimed king when his father died. The first king was Jeroboam, who reigned for twentytwo years; his son Nadab was king after him, 1 Kings 14. 20. Jeroboam is described by God as “(thou) hast done evil above all that were before thee”, v. 9, while his son Nadab is described as: “he did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin”, 15. 26. The bad influence of the idolatrous father passed on to the son.

Bad parent, good child. Ahaz king of Judah was awful in the extreme. He made molten images, 2 Chron. 28. 2; he took away a portion from the house of the Lord, v. 21, and shut up its doors, v. 24. But his son Hezekiah, although brought up in this idolatrous atmosphere, did “right in the sight of the Lord”, 29. 2; he opened the doors of the house, and cast out all the evil contained therein, w. 5, 16.

Good parent, bad child. Many examples will come to the mind of the reader, something that some Christian parents have to sustain when their children depart from the truth of the Lord Jesus. Aaron was a man sanctified for divine service by blood, Lev. 8. 30. His two sons Nadab and Abihu passed through the same ritual, but their hearts were far from the commandments of the Lord. In a state of drunkenness, they offered foreign incense to the Lord, and this led to their death before the Lord, 10. 1-2.

Good parent, good child. We think of the unfeigned faith that dwelt in Eunice, the mother of Timothy, and which later was found in her son Timothy as well, 2 Tim. 1. 5. He had known the Scriptures from a child, 3. 15, and had been saved, not through works but according to God’s purpose and grace, 1. 9. He had to learn to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ, 2. 3, continuing in the things he had learnt, 3. 14.