I am linking up today with Bigger Picture Moments to share a moment of the week that is part of the Bigger Picture. Hope to see you there!
My family gathers together in the mornings (at 5:30am) to read the scriptures together. This year, we are reading the Old Testament. I am determined that my girls will not leave my house without having read all of the standard works. It is important to me. I want them to love the words or our Heavenly Father. I want them to find answers to their prayers in the scriptures, as well as to learn from those that have gone before.
This morning was a hard lesson, and I wasn't sure quite how to discuss it with them.
We were reading in 2 Samuel and came to the 13th Chapter. It is the story of David's daughter Tamar, and her half-brother Amnon. David had several children, three of whom are crucial to this story at this time. The names of the children are Amnon, the son of David and Ahinoam; and Tamar and Absalom, the son and daughter of David and Maacah.
Amnon became infatuated with his half-sister Tamar. He became involved in a plot to have her physically. Through a series of horrible events, he was able to accomplish is task and raped her. Once he had finished, the scripture says:
Then Amnon hated her exceedingly; so that the hatred wherewith he hated her was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her. And Amnon said unto her, Arise, be gone.
Tamar was defiled and would be unable to marry in Israel. So she mourned as if she were a widow. Her brother Absalom vowed revenge and waited and planned for two years until he was able to, finally, kill Amnon.
This entire story is so sad. Somehow, I missed this story in my study of the Bible before. I missed the grief that became such a part of David's life. I missed reading about Tamar. I missed how her brother treated her and than despised her for his own actions.
What a piling up of sin upon sin this became. It destroyed Tamar's virginity and possibly her chance at having a future family. It destroyed David's family. It produced burning hatred and great sorrow. All of this from the thoughts and actions of one man. All of this from selfishness and lust.
It makes me wonder how often this happens in life today. Women are exploited by men and than the men despise the women instead of themselves. How ironic. The same thing continues to happen today. All I have to do is look at the commercials on TV, or even the TV programs themselves to see the blatant way that women are looked at and expected to become.
I had a discussion with my daughters about how people who make bad choices can't bear to be around each other. How lust is never, ever love. It only pretends to be for a short time. We talked about how important it is to keep the commandments and to honor each other in the way we treat each other. We talked about how important it is to continue to do what is right no matter what others might tell us.
We also talked about sin and the possibility of forgiveness. We talked about Tamar and how she did nothing wrong. She was not at fault for the decision of her brother. She was still innocent. Then our discussion progressed to the things that girls are asked to do today. To the challenges and the problems with living today, in a society that seems to have forgotten where they came from, and who is responsible for all of our blessings.
I am sharing this because, although it was a hard scripture to read, it has sparked much discussion in this houseful of girls. It has made them ponder and study and talk together about what is right and wrong, what is acceptable and what is not.
The scriptures have been a blessing, in spite of the hard subject matter. I think that is what matters most of all. We are all learning, whether we are new students, or a little bit older, the scriptures have messages for each one of us to share and learn.
What are you learning today?