Friday, October 15, 2010

Proverbs 23: Wisdom for Parents & Children

Parents are commanded to discipline their child for their child's sake. Children are called to humbly receive instruction, which for young children comes primarily through their parents.  The wise parent knows that foolishness is innately in the child's heart (Proverbs 22:15), and it is the parent's God-given responsibility to work to drive out that folly.  When you read this passage (from Proverbs 23), notice the tone of pleading in the parent's voice.  We all need this same sense of urgency and focus.

Try this:  read this passage and substitute the words "child" and "my son" with your child's name. If you do this, let us know by leaving a comment on this post (even anonymously).

 12 Apply your heart to instruction
       and your ears to words of knowledge.
 13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;
       if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.
 14 Punish him with the rod
       and save his soul from death. 
 15 My son, if your heart is wise,
       then my heart will be glad;
 16 my inmost being will rejoice
       when your lips speak what is right.
 17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
       but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD.
 18 There is surely a future hope for you,
       and your hope will not be cut off.
 19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
       and keep your heart on the right path.
 20 Do not join those who drink too much wine
       or gorge themselves on meat,
 21 for drunkards and gluttons become poor,
       and drowsiness clothes them in rags.
 22 Listen to your father, who gave you life,
       and do not despise your mother when she is old.
 23 Buy the truth and do not sell it;
       get wisdom, discipline and understanding.
 24 The father of a righteous man has great joy;
       he who has a wise son delights in him.
 25 May your father and mother be glad;
       may she who gave you birth rejoice!
 26 My son, give me your heart
       and let your eyes keep to my ways.

Want some additional parenting resources?  Check out our website for recommended books.  One we recommend in particular for all parents is Shepherding a Child's Heart.  See an summary of chapter 4 from this book, as it relates to this post.

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