Once upon a time a little baby boy was born to a king and his queen in a land far away. He was a very cute baby and everyone loved him. All the palace staff from the kitchen to king’s counselors were enthralled by his beauty. They brought him gifts and just loved to hover around the little cradle. Gifts poured in from other kingdoms for the little heir, some fit for a baby, others to be saved for the future. After all, a baby couldn’t play with things like gold and silver coins or bowls!
Since he was prince and heir, and cute, the governess and her staff didn’t deny him anything. He learned quickly that he was entitled to anything he pleased, and as he grew he made sure of it.
He threw tantrums, but they thought every kid went through that phase, so he got his way. Sharing with others was not his thing, but after all a prince is a future king, so . . . why not? When he wanted to play longer, or stay up late, or even kick his pet dog, if anyone tried to stop him he would scream, yell, cry, though his favorite thing to do was to pout. He even pouted when the governess said “no” to another piece of Baklava, which was his favorite treat to have.
It seemed innocent and fun when he was little. but became less so as he grew.
Pouty or not, he was a prince, so he did learn to do some princely things, like riding horses, and training with weaponry. This Pouty Prince understood that he would have to go to battle from time to time, things like that were part of life, he had seen his daddy do it. Still, some things didn’t change. Pouty Prince was selfish, he pouted and sulked when things didn’t go his way and demanded his every whim be catered to. He always felt he knew everything better than anyone else so his counselors stopped giving counsel.
In all this he forgot the God of his ancestors just as his daddy had done. People said “like father, like son.” He did in time ascend the throne, but due to behaviors not checked in his childhood, he was not a noble king. People in the kingdom feared him. They knew on a whim he could put them in prison/ take away their homes or worse. He wasn’t loved by his subjects. The kingdom did not thrive and he earned no blessing from God or man.
This Pouty Prince was Ahab and he ruled 22 years in Israel in the ninth century BC. The Bible says:
1 Kings 16:30 Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the sight of the Lord than all who were before him.(MKJV)
In those days princes married for political alliances, for the stability of the kingdom and more power. So, when he was old enough to marry, this Pouty Prince chose to marry the pretty daughter of a neighboring king. Funny thing is, in this also he did not consult the real wisemen, priests and prophets of his (long forgotten God). Instead, selfishly caring only about himself he married Prickly Princess AKA Jezebel because she looked pretty and she would bring with her power through a political alliance.
Prickly Princess Jezebel loved to get her own way, no matter who got trampled over. She was sly, cunning and truly a malevolent queen. She brought with her different gods. Both now worshiped Baal and his female consort, Astarte (or Ashtoreth). She was so evil that she did everything in her power to remove completely the worship of the true God from the whole kingdom. Together they wreaked havoc in the land.
You can read about his pouting and her conniving to get him his heart’s desire in 1Kings 21.
To be truthful, the Bible says nothing of his childhood, or hers. However, since I believe we are all a product of our history, it is not hard for me to extrapolate a story like this one.
I think this story is repeated generation after generation, in family after family, and in every nation. Ahab and Jezebel were not the only children reared in this way where they thought themselves to be more important than others around them. Many parents world over, rich or poor, have been guilty of raising their children without discipline. without correction and society in general is reaping the results of it. What seems innocent when they are little, is very unattractive when they are grown.
Little children raised without proper discipline become adults that are not an asset to society or the kingdom of God. Much of what I have see in the world today confirms that. Selfishness, lack of care for others, self love, disrespect of parents and authority abound. Turn on the television, follow the news world over and you see a society getting further and further from God.
2 Tim. 3: 1 But know this, that in the last days grievous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; 5 holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power therefore. From these also turn away. (MKJV)
While I understand this to be a sign of the end times, I know it is no excuse for neglecting our job as parents (and grandparents). In the culture of today, it continues to become more and more difficult to raise our sons and daughters in the Way of the Lord without compromising our values. Yet if God expected them to remain true in the days of cruel kings like Ahab and evil queens like Jezebel, does He expect less of us today?
Romans 12: 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but continuously be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you may be able to determine what God’s will is—what is proper, pleasing, and perfect.(ISV)
Parenting is a hard task on the best day, but what we teach our children about Christ, His heart, His way, His plan for them makes it worth every moment. If we do not do our job, they will learn from the world it’s ways.
Perhaps you were raised a pouty-prince or a prickly-princess yourself and now see the error of your ways. If so, then you owe God and your kids a better job.
Think of it: you can choose to raise a pouty prince/prickly princess, or true royalty that emulates the Prince of Peace. The Prince of Peace who gave up everything to live a life of humility, and gave His life for you.
Which prince would you rather emulate, and which prince would you like your children to?
Hmm! . . . Pouty Prince . . . Prince of Peace . . .
Prickly Princess . . . Prince of Peace . . .
Which one will you pick????
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