Proverbs 1:8-10 “Children”

Pastor Joshua Hall; Faith Presbyterian Church, Quincy, IL; June 4, 2020.

Good Morning, Brothers and Sister!

Today we continue our series of devotionals on the themes from the book of Proverbs by examining the theme of family. Since this is such a big theme, we are going to look today specifically at how children are to relate with their parents.

If you have your Bible, follow along with me as I read Proverbs 1:8-9 from the English Standard Version’s translation of the Bible and consider this teaching on children.

“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.”

Let us pray…

God gave all of us our parents. And he places within parents love for their children. Parents are much older than their children, and the mere act of becoming parents matures them. God has designed the family so that children have parents to instruct them. Parents have some unique advantages in instructing their children which are not shared by other adults. First, parents share the same DNA with their children. They have a natural bond with their children forged through childbirth and living together in the same home. And because of this bond, they are looked to by their children from the youngest age for nurture and instruction.

Second, parents know their children best. Healthy parents study their children, learning how their children interact with the world, understanding their strengths and weaknesses. And so they are best able to help their children, to train them and instruct them. To encourage them in their strengths and to help them with their weaknesses.

God did not design us to learn truth from textbooks, nor to mature from sitting in classrooms. We were made to learn truth in relationship. Truth and wisdom are useless except in the service of relationships. We were made for community! And our parents were our first community, they formed the way we interact with the world.

The wise posture of a child toward his or her parents is the posture of a learner. The author of the Proverbs instructs us to listen to our father’s instruction, and not to forsake our mother’s teaching. Rather, we are to see them or what they are, beautiful ornaments to wear with pride.

Now I’m sure that God understands what it is to have human parents who are far from perfect. Jesus had earthly parents, and they were both sinners! Let us not forget that God gave the fifth commandment, the one about honor our parents, to Israelites who were not known for their obedience or wisdom! So why should we hold our parents in high esteem even when we recognize that they are sinners whose wisdom is limited?

First, we called to honor our parents in different ways at different stages of life. We always honor our parents, but when we are children, we obey them and submit to them. But when we leave our father and our mother and cling to our spouse, we honor our parents in a different way. We live according to the wisdom they have imparted to us, and we strive to maintain peace with them. We should never be ashamed of them, for when we are ashamed of our parents, we find that by extension, we are ashamed of ourselves, for we came from our parents. 

Second, we honor our parents not be following in any sinful footsteps them have left, but by pursuing Godliness. For our parent’s honor is wrapped up in our living honorable lives. So when we live lives pleasing to God, we bring honor to our families.

Finally, honoring our parents means affirming the good wisdom and insight they gave us while leaving behind whatever God shows us to be contrary to His Word. I would expect nothing less of my children when they grow up. I do not want them to repeat my mistakes, but I hope they cling to the gospel and gospel living which I am seeking to teach them.

Let us adorn our lives with the wisdom of our parents, let us honor them and our family. Let us do this because it ultimately glorifies God. And if we are not at peace with our parents, let us pursue peace as best we can and ask God to give us a deeper love and respect for our parents.

Let us pray…

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