Metaphor or Reality?

Posted on January 24, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Proverbs, Wisdom

dollar-plane-grass

How do you represent God’s word to your children?  Do you believe the words of God are life to your children or are these words more of a metaphor? Here is an illustration that shows the meaning behind my question.

Suppose you gave your child a stack of  twenty one dollar bills. Then you tell your child to take good care of them and they will be a blessing to him. An hour later you see your son playing in the back yard with paper airplanes. Then you realize the paper airplanes were made from the dollar bills you just gave him.

What would you do?

Would you think, well I am glad he is having a good time being creative?

Would you be upset that the money is being used for fun and that some of the dollar airplanes are flying off never to be seen again?

Or would you realize that you had not taught your child the correct understanding of the value of the money?

It is this third question that is the important one. Too often parents provide the truth of Scripture to their children but do not really show them how to value God’s truth.

Proverbs 8:10-11 describes God’s truth this way:
Choose my instruction rather than silver,
and knowledge rather than pure gold.
For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies.
Nothing you desire can compare with it.

Solomon is not using the comparisons of silver, gold and rubies as metaphors for Scripture. He is literally saying the words of God have greater value than silver, gold, and rubies.  In other words, if you were to have the choice to acquire precious metals and stones or to acquire the wisdom of God, choose wisdom!

In the words of one respected commentator: “Wisdom will brook no rival. If one loves riches —and one loves either wisdom or riches, there is no third way (Matthew 6:24) — wisdom will withdraw herself, leaving the person at best a rich fool for a while but headed for eternal death.” Waltke, commentary on Proverbs 8.

Is God wisdom, God’s truth, the most valuable possession that you have? Or do you value it the same way of the child in the backyard values the money he was given?

To the degree that God’s wisdom is important to you, it is to that degree you can expect your children to value that same wisdom. Are you more driven to find the truth of God in his word or to find the things that will help make your happy? In your heart, you know the answer to that question. Your children also know the answer.

It is not a metaphor. Nothing that you desire can compare with the wisdom and wonder of God’s truth.

Instructing a Child's Heart

Jay Younts
Jay Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is the author of Everyday Talk and other materials on parenting. He has been teaching and speaking on parenting issues for 30 years. Jay and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. He serves as a ruling elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and Ruth have five adult children.