When King David heard what had happened, 
he was very angry. 
2 Samuel 13:1

David. Dreamy songwriter. Innocent shepherd boy. Mighty warrior. God’s hand-picked king of Israel. David wore many hats, most of them extraordinarily well. But he failed in one of his most important roles—father. Running a kingdom isn’t for sissies: slaughtering evil villains, making wise decisions, and keeping all those wives happy. He was proactive in bringing justice to the nation, but failed to do it in his own household when he learned that his son had raped his daughter. When Absalom learned that their father had done nothing, he became bitter and plotted to kill his half-brother and take the kingdom from his father. David was angry about the rape, but did nothing to vindicate his daughter, so she “remained desolate in her brother’s house.”

We may not have kingdoms to run, but we often allow our kids to bully each other by ignoring the victims and excusing the victimizers. “They’re just kids. All siblings pick on each other,” say the David-like fathers. Sadly, some oblivious parents allow abuse of all kinds to continue under their roof because it’s too much trouble to keep close tabs on what the kids are doing. “You kids get along!” David-like parents shout from the other room, while a lifetime of damage is being done sibling-on-sibling. David refused to address the dysfunction in his own household and lost the respect of his kids. Don’t be a David.

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