September 7, 2011

Double-Edged Proverb

This month our church is going through the book of Proverbs as we also go through a weekend teaching series on Proverbs. Over the course of the month I will be sharing some of my thoughts as I read through the Proverbs day by day. I won't cover all of them, but when something really jumps out, I'll talk about it.

Yesterday I was reading through Proverbs 6 which is just crammed with a bunch of warnings against foolishness, laziness, & adultery/lust. Wedged right there in the middle of this proverb is this:

"My son, keep your father's commands & do not forsake your mother's teaching. Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, & the corrections of discipline are the way to life..." Proverbs 6:20-23

The direct context for these verses is the following instructions concerning immoral women, lust, adultery, & all the junk that comes from falling prey to our own desires. However, there is an obvious broader application. It's clear that the point here is that the instruction of one's parents is vital to growing & living a healthy & potentially godly life. When we hear these verses taught we immediately go to the point of "children, obey & respect your parents" which is great, but this proverb is double-edged.

Shouldn't we also ask parents to evaluate what it is that they are teaching their children. As parents, almost everything we do communicates a lesson or value to our children. We can take our children to church programming as much as we want, but if our real, everyday message doesn't reflect biblical, godly values, then which message do we really think is going to win out in our children's lives?  Whatever we teach will guide; it will speak to our children; it will echo in their hearts & minds. What are we teaching?

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