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Lessons from the Absalom Legacy

How do the best leaders sometimes make a mess of their family?

David was the second king in the history of Israel.  His resume was remarkable. He entered the throne in a time of tumult but brought unity to his kingdom.  He subdued the surrounding nations and brought peace. His riches were vast.  

But something went awry with his kids.  One of his sons, Amnon, raped his brother’s (Absalom) sister.  

After the rape, David did nothing.  Seeing this, Absalom plotted revenge. Two years later Absalom murdered Amnon. Absalom fled but David did not pursue. Eventually, Absalom returned but even upon his return for two years David did not see or talk to his son.  

Like a child demanding attention, Absalom burned the field of the commander of David’s army. While Absalom was finally granted an audience with his father, no apparent significant conversation occurred–no attempt to address past wrongs or conflicts.  Not long after, it’s recorded that Absalom set out to steal the hearts of the men of Israel from David.  Ultimately, Absalom led a coup for the kingdom and forced his father out of the throne even for a temporary period.  

Absalom died as David sought to defend his throne.

To preserve a lasting family legacy, parents must engage their children–even if, and when they don’t know what to say. Left unaddressed, the child, even the adult child, will still act out and demand the attention that was not given.

About Bill High

Bill is CEO of the Signatry: A Global Christian Foundation. He works with families, individual givers, and financial advisers to share the foundation’s message regarding biblical generosity and charitable giving. He is the co-author with David Green of Giving It All Away and Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously: » Learn More

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