Imagine if Jesus had said to Satan, “I’m not sure,” or “I will have to think about it,” when he was tempted. Of if Joseph had told Potiphar’s wife, “let’s talk about this.” Or if David had said to Goliath, “we must be tolerant of each other’s religion.”
Jesus, Joseph and David confidently, boldly confronted temptations. Confidence in God’s truth is something you can’t do without. Otherwise, temptations will overwhelm and ensnare you and your children. Lack of confidence in God’s truth will make your teenagers sitting ducks for the attacks of Satan and the world.
Solomon’s reason for writing the Proverbs was so that young people could live life confidently, knowing and following what God wanted them to do (Proverbs 1:1-7). He believed that it was possible, even mandatory, that youths could gain wisdom, insight and prudence. He wanted them to be courageous thinkers and doers. He knew that their lives depended upon loving wisdom more than loving folly. He knew that a lack of confidence in God’s wisdom would destroy them.
Children who are unsure of what they should do can become introspective and whiny. They will look for the choice that offers the most benefit to them. In this specific sense, uncertainty is a mask for selfishness. Moral uncertainty will eventually lead to moral corruption. Thus Solomon says that a child is to know what is right and just and fair and then live that way. In short a child must learn to confidently guard his heart.
There must be confidence and trust in God’s word if you and your children are to avoid being devoured by the ways of the world, or what Proverbs calls folly. Christ demonstrated the confidence of a wise heart when he refuted the subtlest and deadliest temptations ever offered to a man, when he was tempted by Satan in the wilderness. Satan timed his attack on Christ perfectly, just as he did in the Garden. But this time, the second Adam did not fail. Christ did not fall into the trap of doubting God’s word, as our first parents did. He was confident of what the Scriptures taught. He was confident to say yes to God.