Good Men with Bad Children

There are no perfect parents, and imperfect parents that fear and love God like David may find consolation in the Bible’s examples that many good or great men had unfaithful children. A faithful and virtuous child requires God’s grace more than parental example and training. The folly of polygamy that God allowed can also be seen in a number of the following sad cases. God’s standard is that only children held in high esteem by God and men are truly good children. This list provides no excuse for foolish or lazy parenting, because good parenting is a command.

NOAH … had Ham (judged for sexual sin) and two other sons (no praise or virtue recorded).

ABRAHAM … had Ishmael (scornful rebel unbeliever) and six other sons (no praise/virtue).

LOT … a righteous compromiser with a foolish family: five daughters, three sons-in-law, wife.

ISAAC … Esau was a fool and a reprobate, and twin Jacob had his own faith and truth issues.

JACOB … think about Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, etc.; only Joseph was known for virtue.

ELI … was God’s high priest but did not stop two terrible sons due to sentimental infatuation.

SAMUEL … who saw Eli’s parenting faults and judgment had two sons much like Eli’s sons.

DAVID … the man after God’s own heart had no known faithful children, including Solomon.

SOLOMON … the man who wrote much about child training had no known good children.

JOTHAM … the son of Uzziah was a good king, but his son Ahaz was a very wicked king.

HEZEKIAH … one of Judah’s best kings had the worst king of Judah as his son – Manasseh.

JOB … a very great man had ten children without praise/virtue that worried him by partying.


For Further Study:

  1. Bible Study: Eli & Sons … a father’s sinful, sentimental infatuation.
  2. Sermon Outline: Family Planning … building a great family .
  3. Sermon Outline: Fathers for 2005 … description of good fathers.
  4. Sermon Outline: Breaking Family Sin Cycles.