Today’s Reading: Proverbs 4
I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to see my children daily and see them grow. This privilege is one that I do not take likely or for granted, because I know many fathers that desire and long to have their children with them daily. This past weekend, I had the joy of serving with my children at a local fundraiser on Saturday and Sunday. All three of the kids (Oliver, Ruby, and Nadya) help me setup for the annual event on Saturday afternoon and then Ollie asked if he could serve with me on Sunday. I was pleased and excited that he would want to serve with me. I did caution him that it would be an early morning, but he assured me that this was his desire. Oliver had the most pleasant and excited demeanor the entire morning and was willing to learn and help as needed. His joy and excitement is the best ROI (return on investment) that I could ever ask. He loves serving and bringing joy to others.
As I reflect on my childhood and experiences with my father and the relationship that I have with my kids, I can better relate to some of the stories in the Bible, especially father and children stories. My relationship with my father is complex and rich. For the majority of my life, I have had a relationship with my father, but I missed the early daily adventures with him due to the divorce of my parents. As a young child and through today he is one of my closest confidants and mentors. I speak with him weekly and we have a great relationship. My relationship with my children is one that visceral and emotional. We have many adventures and joyous times. We also have times of instruction and learning. Every moment that I have with them I cherish beyond measures. My children give me peace and humility to become a better person.
In Proverbs Chapter 4, Solomon is giving instruction to his children as his father gave him instructions.
Proverbs 4: 3-7
When I was a son with my father,
tender, the only one in the sight of my mother,
4 he taught me and said to me,
“Let your heart hold fast my words;
keep my commandments, and live.
5 Get wisdom; get insight;
do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
6 Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;
love her, and she will guard you.
7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
and whatever you get, get insight.
Solomon is imparting to his children the importance of passing on the virtue of wisdom and understanding. This is the father’s purpose: to instruct and guide. It is the father’s purpose to prepare the children in a manner that will be beneficial and prosperous to the next generations. This charge is given to all parents to be stewards of our children and give them instruction and direction for their life.
Throughout the bible many times the author challenges the audience to decide: whether you are the audience for approval or the audience for correction. In Proverbs, we ask ourselves if we are the ones that the instruction is intended to prevent or correct our actions. We must examine ourselves daily to see if we are seeking wisdom or have we turned away.
Proverbs 4: 1-2; 10-11; 20-21
Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction,
and be attentive, that you may gain[a] insight,
2 for I give you good precepts;
do not forsake my teaching.
Hear, my son, and accept my words,
that the years of your life may be many.
11 I have taught you the way of wisdom;
I have led you in the paths of uprightness.
My son, be attentive to my words;
incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Let them not escape from your sight;
keep them within your heart.
The wisdom that we have gained, we must give to the next generations. We must daily review our purpose and use of wisdom and adjust according. May we pray daily for our children as David did for Solomon, which Solomon did for his children as evident in the passage.
1Chronicles 29: 18-19
18 O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you. 19 Grant to Solomon my son a whole heart that he may keep your commandments, your testimonies, and your statutes, performing all, and that he may build the palace for which I have made provision.”
Be blessed. L