Your smile means life and light

Posted on · Posted in Shaping Influences

Proverbs 16 has much to say about leadership and parenting. Solomon makes an important observation that has to do with the way your mouth looks rather than the words it speaks.  Notice verse 15:

In the light of a king’s face there is life,
and his favor is like the clouds that bring the spring rain.

In countries ruled by kings, a king’s smile was a big deal. A king had absolute authority. He literally had the power of life and death. So, the smile of the king was a welcome sight to his subjects. A frown might well lead to unpleasant consequences. To receive the favor of the king was even better. In ancient Israel if the spring rains failed to come then the crops would fail and there could soon be famine in the land. The king’s favor was like the welcome rains of spring.

None of us are royalty. Still, Proverbs 16:15 is a reminder of just how important your countenance is to your children. For example:

“What’s wrong mommy?”

“Nothing, dear. Why did you think something is wrong.”

“Well, you don’t look very happy.”

“Oh, it is nothing. I was just thinking about something. Go on now, play with your brother.”

But, to your child, your expression is something. You are the most important person in his or her life. A blank or worried expression sends a message of problems, a message of uncertainty. But a smile, a hug, delighting in just seeing your kids means everything to them. 

Your children are God’s blessing to you. Let them see it by the light of your face and the smile on your lips. There are times when words are not needed to express joy and favor. Make this a common experience for your kids.

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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.