The book of Proverbs provides insight about how to be wise (Proverbs 1:1-7). Proverbs is not primarily a set of rules to follow, but practical wisdom that can be applied to everyday life. This book will teach you and your children to avoid people and situations that will bring harm. For example, verses 1&2 of Chapter 18 help identify a person who is unfriendly and not to be trusted. Each verse has two lines. The second line compliments the first. So in verse 1 we learn that a person who is unfriendly is selfish. That makes sense. But then in the second line of this verse we find a clue that identifies this selfish person; they start foolish quarrels. […]
Parents you must teach from your heart to your children’s hearts. If your combination of biblical commands and applied wisdom centers on your personal convenience and preferences your instruction will lack power. It will only serve to provoke your children to anger. Remember, wisdom is the skill of applying God’s truth to everyday life situations. The father in Proverbs 7 took God’s truth and skillfully applied it to the sexual temptations that he knew his son would face. By contrast, rules learned by rote have no chance of defeating sexual temptation. The instruction that Proverbs 4 & 7 insists upon takes time, skill, preparation, prayer, and a heart for God. You must know the relational climate of your children’s world […]
Teaching your children to honor God’s authority by obeying quickly and pleasantly has many blessings. One of these blessings is to learn to avoid the world’s wisdom, no matter how attractive it may appear. For example, there is the lie that there can be safe sex outside of marriage. For those of you who missed it, last Monday, September 26, 2011, was WCD day. WCD stands for World Contraception Day. This year the day was sponsored by such institutions as Bayer Health Care, Planned Parenthood, and at least nine other like-minded groups. According to a Fox News report, WCD advocates raise questions such as this one:
Over the time that your children are in your home you will give them many gifts. Some will be small. Some will be huge. Some will be foolish and unwise. Some will be well thought out. Some will be unappreciated. Some will be cherished. This is the nature of gifts. The one sure way you can know if your gift is good is if your gift is one that is commanded by God. Parents often don’t think of obedience as a gift. But teaching your children to obey is among the most precious gifts that you can possibly give. Paul puts it this way in Ephesians 6:1-3: Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your […]
Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Despite rumors and concerns there were no follow up attacks in the United States. Which raises the question – are you safer today than yesterday? We addressed this in the last post – we are only truly safe if we belong to Christ. To help underscore this truth, Proverbs offers some helpful commentary. Note the relevance of these words. Discuss it with your children. Thank God for it in your prayers. The Lord is our confidence. Praise his name! 21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; 22 they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. 23 Then […]
The last several posts have focused on the excellence of wisdom and the pursuit of wisdom. Anyone who reads the Bible regularly is familiar with Proverbs, where wisdom is highly commended. But familiarity too often breeds neglect—if not contempt. I believe it is helpful to stop for a moment to consider what the pursuit of wisdom looks like today. To set the stage, here are some basics about wisdom truths:
We have been looking at how wisdom offers protection from sexual immorality and from the ways of wicked men. In the last post we saw that Joseph acted wisely when he fled from Potiphar’s wife. What caused Joseph to have this immediate, emotional, and wise response to temptation? The answer will help you train your children to live for God in a sinful world. It will help you as well. Several positive factors combine to produce this protection for Joseph. Let’s look at them.
This post continues the previous theme: how can we avoid loving the world? In this regard, two important statements are given in the latter half of Proverbs 2. The first statement says that wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men. The second says that wisdom will also save you from the adulterous woman, and by implication, the adulterous man.
What you believe is what protects you. What your children believe will be what, ultimately, protects them. Protects them from what? From the attacks of the world. Responsible parents are always looking for ways to protect their children. Whether it is an improved baby monitoring or a new cell phone with a GPS locator or a car with more safety features, protecting our children is important. But what will protect them from the deceptive schemes of a world at war with God? Satan, as the father of lies, has constructed a world system that attempts to obscure and conceal the evil he has planned for those who follow him. That is what Ephesians 2:1-3 is teaching us; note especially verse […]