2 Samuel 13:37 But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. David mourned for his son day after day. 38 Absalom, having fled to Geshur, stayed there three years. 39 And the heart of the king went out, yearning for Absalom; for he was now consoled over the death of Amnon.
Absalom was one of King David’s sons who killed another of David’s sons named Amnon after Amnon had raped Tamar, Absalom’s sister. It was a revenge killing between two sons of the king. And since it was not Absalom’s place to take justice into his own hands, he should have been held accountable by the king – his father. But v.39 describes David’s heart as “yearning for Absalom”. And as we will say later the story, David did not hold Absalom to account with terrible consequences.
As I read the story I have empathy for David. It’s easy to know what to do when describing someone else’s adult child, but not so easy when it’s your own child in question. I have three young adult children and each of them is different. I’m very proud of them, what they’ve accomplished, the pathways they’ve chosen. But it hasn’t been easy figuring out how to be a father to them in this season of their lives – and mine. They’re not teenagers anymore, but they’re not completely independent either. Some days I think I get it right and other days I get it wrong. So I’m trusting the Lord’s grace over all of us to see us through.
Dear Lord, today I offer a special prayer for parents of adult children. Give us wisdom to parent well, reflecting your wisdom and grace in difficult situations. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.