Will your words save your child’s life?
Solomon thought so.
Throughout the Proverbs Solomon pleads with his son to cling fast to his words, for they are the words of life. A bit presumptuous, perhaps?
No, not really.
Solomon was confident because he knew he was bringing the words of God to his son. He had learned from his father that God’s words were more valuable than an immense fortune of silver and gold. And of course, since Solomon did have an immense fortune of silver and gold, he knew also from experience that David’s words were true.
Solomon’s confidence was not arrogance but reality. He combined commands with wisdom. He blended written commandments together with real-life scenarios that spoke deeply to his son. He spoke with a heart that loved God and his word above all else. There are no short cuts to effective parenting.
If you speak the truth in love from your heart and the power of Scripture, you can show your passion for God. Deuteronomy 6:5-7 teaches that your parenting will be ineffective without this love and passion.
If your focus on teaching your children centers on having a pleasant, uncluttered life that is at peace with the world, you miss the mark of Solomon’s urgent plea to his son. Remember the environment that marked Solomon’s youth and childhood. He saw first hand rape, murder, envy, pride, lust for power. He saw first-hand the treachery of the human heart. This is why he urged his children that nothing they desired could compare with the wisdom of God.
Combine practical wisdom with your instruction. Prepare your children for the reality of spiritual warfare. Understand the particular deceptions they will face. This is how you make God’s words your words. This is how your words will save the life of your children.
My son, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.
Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body.