Explain what it means to correct your children. (1 Samuel 2:23-24 and 3:13)


1 Samuel 2:23-24 So he said to them, "Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours. No, my sons; the report I hear spreading among the Lord's people is not good."

1 Samuel 3:13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them.

Proper parenting is no easy responsibility. Godly leadership and decision making are parts of this holy task. Parents are responsible for nurturing the minds, emotions, and bodies of their children (Gen. 18:19; Deut. 6:4-9; Eph. 6:4; Heb. 12:7; WLC 125, 129, 130). At times mere verbal address in discipline is all that is needed, and at other times other godly forms of discipline are required. Elders especially are to rule their house well (1 Tim. 3:4-5). In 1 Samuel 2 Eli should have corrected his sons with more than just words (1 Sam. 2:23-25). His failure to properly discipline his sons was taken as honoring his sons over the Lord (1 Sam. 2:30). Discipline then came on his whole household (1 Sam. 2:31-34; cf. the death of his sons [1 Sam. 4:11] Eli's own death [1 Sam. 4:18]; Saul's massacre of the priests [1 Sam. 22:17-19]; and the removal of Abiathar from the priesthood [1 Kings 2:26-27]).

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).