wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Proverbs 2:10
Psalm 13 is a tender reminder that God has been good to us. As
parents, we long for our children to know his goodness firsthand. How does that
happen? This, of course, is the big question—but the starting point is less
complicated than you might think. Allow me to ask a question from Psalm 13. Do
you believe that God has been good to you?
You know the proper response, of course, but don’t jump to
the answer too quickly. Take a mental inventory of your life. Remember your own
history. Through all the difficulties
and struggles and joys, yes, God has been good to you. This is, perhaps, the
most important fact of life for a Christian to grasp. It may seem as though
everything around you indicates God has not been good to you. Satan certainly
would like you to believe this. He has been challenging God’s goodness to his
people since the Garden. But as you carefully consider this thought, your
heart, informed by God’s word, resounds with agreement – God has been good!
What does this have to do with your children? Just this –
you are a daily object lesson about the goodness of God. Your children don’t
have access to your thoughts and intentions. In particular, young children
don’t have access to your thoughts about God and his goodness. But they do have
access to you. They may not comprehend that you go to work in a difficult
setting just so you can provide for them because you love them. They will not
easily grasp the sacrificial commitments you and your spouse have made to
benefit them and show them God’s love. But what they do grasp, what does impact
them deeply, is your words.
Do your words to your children demonstrate that the
knowledge of God—that is, your relationship with him—is pleasant? Not just
pleasant in an academic sense, but pleasant in a way that it radiates outward
from your soul, so that even when things are difficult, your soul finds the
knowledge of God pleasant. If this is
true of you, then your children’s daily encounters with you will be daily
encounters with the pleasure of knowing God. This knowledge is not locked away
in a devotional time, but quietly on display in the ups and downs of life. Life
is full of setbacks and schedules that have been undone by the unexpected. But
at the core, the Christian who has had the wisdom of God invade his heart finds
this knowledge pleasant. It put things in perspective.
When there is a pleasantness of soul, there will also be a
pleasantness of speech. Proverbs 16:21 says:
The wise in heart are called
and pleasant words promote instruction.
You see, these pleasant words that promote true instruction
of the heart can’t be manufactured. These words flow from a soul to whom the
knowledge of God is pleasant. These words are not manipulative, but inviting.
When you sin and disobey your heavenly Father, you are encouraged by the
reality that he disciplines you for your good. You know that there is no
condemnation for those who are in Christ. This knowledge is pleasant to your
soul. It sustains you and helps you to embrace the loving discipline of God (Rev.
3:19 & Heb. 12:11). In the same way, you want your children to be comforted
by the reality that your discipline to them is for their good. How do you do
this? By allowing the pleasant knowledge of God’s wisdom in your heart to flow
outward in the form of pleasant words.
words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24
I will give some practical examples of this in the next
post. Also, there will be more of the Goliaths of humanism coming soon. But for
now, think about your words to your children. Do they reflect the pleasant
knowledge of God? Do they demonstrate that God has indeed been good to you?
Fathers, tomorrow is Father’s Day. It is a good day. But this Father’s Day, give
your family a precious gift from Dad – the gift of pleasant words that flow
from a soul overwhelmed by the goodness of God.