Blake Allen, Dunbar Cave Campus Pastor, LHBC
8 Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction, and don’t reject your mother’s teaching, 9 for they will be a garland of favor on your head and pendants around your neck.
Growing up as kid, I heard Proverb 1:8-9 paraphrased quite often. In fact, this may have been my parents favorite verse. It’s not that I was a bad kid, it’s just that I had selective hearing–at least that is what I was told. I’m pretty sure I was a good listener……when I wanted to be. It wasn’t until later in life that I realized my parents were dishing out some major wisdom when I was a child. They taught me so many good life lessons. And now that I am a parent, I hope to do the same for my kids.
This got me thinking about Proverbs 1 again. I used to read this verse as a child who should be listening to his parents instruction. This is definitely the case. But the other day I read this verse from the lens of a parent. You see, the parents instructions and teachings are to be like a garland of favor and a pendant the child wears. Often times, garland wreaths were dipped in gold and given to the victor of certain games. It was considered the highest prize a competitor could win. It formed the shape of a crown and was considered the winner’s wreath. This takes on a whole different idea than what I originally thought concerning this verse and my duty as a parent.
In light of this truth, our jobs as parents are instruct and teach our kids. And our instruction and teaching should be like treasure that our kids will wear in life. The question then is what are we teaching them? What are we arming them with to live in this culture? Are they winners of the constant battles and pressures they face in our culture? Ultimately, what are they hearing and putting on to face the battles of life?
What They Are Hearing
In this verse, instruction and teaching refer to godly counsel. All throughout the book of Proverbs, we are told that wisdom is calling out to us. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The word of God is the perfect wisdom of God. Our kids do not need self help or behavior modification. The point of the gospel is that we cannot help ourselves or tame sin. We need to be made new through Jesus Christ. It is the word of God that pierces the heart and brings forth righteousness (John 1; Hebrews 4:12; 1 Tim 3:16).
So then, what instruction do we need to give our kids? The word of God. We need to give them godly counsel. The word is treasure. Give em treasure! Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” What are our kids hearing day in and day out from us?
What They Will Wear
Our kids will most likely “wear” in life what we have given them. What you input is key to determining their output. If we constantly push success, money, wealth, academic success, etc., that is what their life will be consumed by. It’s not that have these things are necessarily bad. But God tells us to seek first the kingdom and all our needs will be provided for (Matt 6:33).
Is giving our kids the gospel the priority for us? Is it primary? Do we talk about Jesus more than we do sports, hunting, success, platforms, business opportunities, etc.? Is our identity in Christ or stuff? What we as parents find our identity in is what our kids will see and imitate. They put on what we teach. Why settle for the perishable when we can give them unperishable treasure through the word of God. Is your wisdom and instruction a gold mine they will wear in life?
Give your kids Jesus. Give em gold. May the word of God be the treasure your kids wear in life.
Do a memory verse with your kids each week
Read the Bible together at the dinner table
Sing worship songs together once a week (check out Seed Family Worship or Watoto on Youtube)
When discipling a child, share what the word of God says about the actions they performed
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, I pray I don’t give my kids more of the world, but more of you. Help me to pass down the wisdom you have poured out on us. Guard my kids path and I pray they will wear treasure in life found in your word. In Jesus Name, Amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
Isaiah 26:4- Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.