There is a theme in Proverbs that is simmering in my heart today. Many times the author challenges the reader to pay attention to the teaching of their parents.
In chapter one we read, “Listen my son to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.” Then over and over again in the following chapters the theme of listening to the lessons taught by parents is highlighted.
In chapter six Proverbs reads, “My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them on 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 light.”
The imagery is profound. The bits of wisdom that we infuse into our children when they are young will guide them on the right path. I am challenged. I ask myself, ” Are my words beautiful?” Are they like a flower garland for the head of my children or a valuable necklace for them to treasure? I wonder, if each little nugget of knowledge and direction that I share with them is like a jewel on a necklace are their necklaces full? Or do I fill my conversations with meaningless trivia? I want my words to be treasures.
I recognize that my time is short with my children. It is urgent that I be filling their “necklaces” with truth from God’s word. With this they will be equipped to enter the world that is growing more and more confused about what is right.
Our job as parents is to teach our children the way of the light. The way to walk on the straight path. The way of Jesus. This is sobering to me, what a great responsibility. And yet, it is peace giving, for it is hopeful. There is definitely no a+b=c formula to raising kids. This I learned early on. However, we do have promises to hold onto. Promises such as, my teachings will be as light to the path of my children.
Will you join me today in asking yourself these questions:
- Are my words beautiful? Would they be like a flower garland that my children would want to wear on their head or a necklace that they would treasure all through life and wear for the world to see?
- Am I training my children in the ways of the Lord so that they are equipped to live independently? What can I do intentionally today to teach them more of the Bible and the ways of Jesus?