In First Chronicles chapter 28, David gave some final words of advice to his son, Solomon, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished” (v. 20).These were some of the last words David spoke to his son Solomon before David passed from the earth to receive his heavenly reward. In this one verse, we can see David’s heart—his heart for God and his heart for his son. As David spoke, he demonstrated the three “Cs” of fatherhood: conviction, courage, and compassion. Today, centuries of time separate us from King David, but we can still learn much about fatherhood by looking at this godly father.We know that David was a man of deep spiritual conviction. Sadly, it seems that today, we are a society with little godly conviction. Men who are without conviction in spiritual matters are praised and emulated because of their celebrity status. They are upheld as role models, even though they lack godly character. Today, more than ever, we need a generation of fathers like David who possess the courage to speak boldly about their spiritual convictions, in spite of the corrupt moral current of society.
“But didn’t David fall morally?” you might ask. Yes, he made some serious mistakes. But he was godly in that he was quick to repent before God, correct his mistakes, and then head in the right direction. That’s why God called him a man after His own heart (Acts 13:22).
I’m sure that David’s children and other family members knew about his sins and failures. But David never turned away from God. He continued to serve God in spite of his shortcomings, showing his children that God’s love and forgiveness will take you through anything. His lifestyle demonstrated a great deal of conviction and courage.
David was also a man of great compassion. His words were filled with kindness when he spoke to Solomon in 1 Chronicles 28. It was as though he was saying, “You can do it, son. I believe in you.
Let’s look further at the life of David. He was a shepherd boy who became a successful soldier and later, a proficient administrator and an admired king. David was immensely successful in everything he did. Yet, he was still an extremely devoted father. He fasted and prayed fervently for the deliverance of the first son born to him and Bathsheba. Then he fought fiercely to save the life of another son, Absalom, even though Absalom sought to kill his father and take over the kingdom. To David, his family outweighed all of his past achievements and present status, because he was such a man of compassion.
Sadly, many men today give up their success as a father for success in their job or profession. Though they are willing to work long hours to meet the physical needs of their children, many fathers today are unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary for their children’s emotional well-being.
I observed in my father a tremendous willingness to sacrifice himself for the welfare of our family. When I was about 11 years old, Dad was holding a meeting in California. I hadn’t seen him for six weeks, and I missed him immensely. After he closed that meeting, he had to drive to a meeting in Pennsylvania. But instead of driving straight to Pennsylvania, he drove 22 hours and 15 minutes from California to our house just to eat breakfast with my sister and me. He visited with us until we left for school, and he spent a couple of hours with Mom before heading to Pennsylvania to start the next meeting.
Dad did things like that time and time again for his family. He knew that when all was said and done, his achievements in ministry wouldn’t amount to much if he lost his own family through neglect. Today, my father is recognized as a modern-day father of faith. But those who knew him well, including me, knew he was a man of love and compassion. None of his successes as a minister surpassed Kenneth E. Hagin’s success as a father. He left me an example and a legacy that I have passed on to my children and grandchildren.
David’s godly legacy has continued to this day and so has the legacy of my father. What about you? Will you, as a father, demonstrate conviction, courage, and compassion to your children so they can pass on and ensure godly character for future generations? The spiritual well-being of our children today, and of our nation tomorrow, depends on you. The godly example that you display will point your children—and their children after them—in the right direction in life and guide them on paths of happiness and success.