Proverbs 4:1 gives us a powerful teaching. One that affects all parents and children and one that should be brought to full bear. Teaching and learning. First, there are several words that we do not need to revisit as we have already visited these words. They are, instruction and understanding. Both words have been addressed in our study of Proverbs already.
But now we look at Proverbs 4:2. Notice what Solomon is saying to his children. He gives them good doctrine, or good instructions. This instruction is that which is teaching. The teaching is understandable and helpful for his children in their life. He then gives them a charge. Do not forsake his law.
Now in Proverbs 4:3-4, Solomon is looking back in time at his own childhood. He reflects that his father, David, also taught him wisdom and instruction. What was it that he was told? Look at Proverbs 4:4. Solomon was taught to hold fast to the words of his father.
So what does this have to do with us? There are two parts to this, the charge to father’s, and the charge to children. Let us begin with the charge to father’s.
Father’s, you have an awesome, and heavy responsibility to train your children. The Bible is very clear about this mandate: Proverbs 22:6; 23:13; Ephesians 6:4; Deuteronomy 6:7; 31:12-13; Psalm 78:5. This is an important calling for you, father’s. You have an amazing role with your children. Here is where it can get even harder. What if we, as father’s do not know a topic, or instruction ourselves? This is where outside help is absolutely acceptable.
My children are in two groups: Trail Life USA and American Heritage Girls. I have the privledge of sitting in with my son in the Trail Life. I do have skills and some knowledge on many things pertaining to life, but some of the men who lead the Trail Life are so much better in areas that I am not. I have learned by just being part of my son’s patrol. Trail Life teaches from a Christ centered perspective, skills ranging from indoor skills to outdoor skills and everything in between. My daughter is in American Heritage Girls. Again, there are some skills that my wife and I do not have that she is learning in this troop.
But father’s, understand that no matter how good these groups are, they do not take the place of your role as the main teacher! God has given your children to you to teach and train them up in the way they should go. These other outside groups are supplemental. The beauty of this is it also gives you an opportunity to do something with your children.
Children, you also have a responsibility. You are called to be obedient and learn from your parents, Ephesians 6:1; Colossians 3:20. If you look at Proverbs 4:3-4, Solomon is thinking back to when he was a child. His father also shared with him wisdom. Children, your parents were children once as well. They also know the pitfalls and struggles you may face. The beauty is that if you listen and learn, you also will avoid many of the hurts, pains, and grief that your parents experienced. As long as your parents are not asking you to go against what the Bible says, you are called to listen to your parents.
What is it that we are going to learn? That is what we will be covering in the next few weeks.