Lowering the Bar for Dads | 1 Samuel 20:18-34

1 Samuel 20:18-34 - Then Jonathan said, “Tomorrow we celebrate the new moon festival. You will be missed when your place at the table is empty. 19 The day after tomorrow, toward evening, go to the place where you hid before, and wait there by the stone pile. 20 I will come out and shoot three arrows to the side of the stone pile as though I were shooting at a target. 21 Then I will send a boy to bring the arrows back. If you hear me tell him, ‘They’re on this side,’ then you will know, as surely as the Lord lives, that all is well, and there is no trouble. 22 But if I tell him, ‘Go farther—the arrows are still ahead of you,’ then it will mean that you must leave immediately, for the Lord is sending you away. 23 And may the Lord make us keep our promises to each other, for he has witnessed them.”24 So David hid himself in the field, and when the new moon festival began, the king sat down to eat. 25 He sat at his usual place against the wall, with Jonathan sitting opposite him and Abner beside him. But David’s place was empty. 26 Saul didn’t say anything about it that day, for he said to himself, “Something must have made David ceremonially unclean.” 27 But when David’s place was empty again the next day, Saul asked Jonathan, “Why hasn’t the son of Jesse been here for the meal either yesterday or today?” 28 Jonathan replied, “David earnestly asked me if he could go to Bethlehem. 29 He said, ‘Please let me go, for we are having a family sacrifice. My brother demanded that I be there. So please let me get away to see my brothers.’ That’s why he isn’t here at the king’s table.” 30 Saul boiled with rage at Jonathan. “You stupid son of a whore!  he swore at him. “Do you think I don’t know that you want him to be king in your place, shaming yourself and your mother? 31 As long as that son of Jesse is alive, you’ll never be king. Now go and get him so I can kill him!”  32 “But why should he be put to death?” Jonathan asked his father. “What has he done?” 33 Then Saul hurled his spear at Jonathan, intending to kill him. So, at last Jonathan realized that his father was really determined to kill David. 34 Jonathan left the table in fierce anger and refused to eat  on that second day of the festival, for he was crushed by his father’s shameful behavior toward David.

I. Don’t say it!

V30 Saul boiled with rage at Jonathan. “You stupid son of a whore!

A. We all end up saying things we don’t mean.

Once a word is said it is out there and there is nothing you can do to bring it back.

James 3:6 - And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.

It sets your whole life on fire. Think about Saul’s words. He shamed his son, his wife. 

>>> We can say things that can never be taken back. They can be forgiven through the grace of God but they will inhibit what your relationship could have been.

B. Here is another word you must stop saying… "But, ..."

One of the most critical things you can do to your children is to add the but.

  • You got an A- that’s great but if you would just have studied a little bit more….
Ephesians 4:29 - Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

When it comes to my kids I think the most destructive word I have used is but. Because it simply wipes away all their achievement like it has never been…

Proverbs 12:18 (NIV) - The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

II. Don’t throw it!

A. Spears

Don’t throw spears at your children.

B. Insults

Ephesians 4:31-32 - Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Insults include words like: Lazy, Disrespectful, selfish, childish.
All these things are subject matters that need to be discussed from time to time while raising your kids.
When they are hurled they might as well be the words: Moron, brain dead, idiot, fool…

"The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice."  -Peggy O’Mara

C. Accusations

Stand by your kids until the evidence is in.
When the evidence is in continue to stand with them not condoning their actions but as support.

III. Don’t delay it!

A. Don’t delay telling your kids the truth.

Sometimes you have to say. I don’t like the way your friends treat you.

B. Don’t delay telling your kids you love them.

Don’t delay it. Say it!

C. Don’t delay spending time.

Figure out something.

D. Don’t delay telling them they are great.

Contrary to most opinions compliments do not ruin children they build them up.

E. Don’t delay telling them that God is great.

Let them know about your Savior.
Let them know what He has done for you.
This will make a huge impact on their life. Tell them now. It will start a legacy that honors God.

Psalm 145:4 - Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power.
"One of the most important things we adults can do for young children is to model the kind of person we would like them to be." -Carol Hillman


Think about this for just one moment: How would your relationships around you be if you just didn’t say it? If you didn’t throw it? If you didn’t delay it?