“Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for He gives to His beloved even in his sleep. Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate.” – Psalm 127:1-5
Parenting & Proverbs (an Introduction)
Over the next few posts, we’re going to bring this whole series in Proverbs to a close. We’ve covered a lot of ground over the past few weeks. We’ve looked at the purpose of the Proverbs. We’ve discussed what wisdom is, where wisdom comes from, and specifically how we can apply it.
The concepts we’ve explored include pride, humility, foolishness, and wisdom’s connection with kindness—that is faithfulness. Over the past two weeks we’ve learned about friendship. And today, we’ll wrap up by examining what the Proverbs say about parenting.
There is no greater institution for sowing wisdom into the lives of others than the institution of the family. This is why training our children in the way they should go is so essential. This is not to put out single moms or dads by the way. Paul’s son in the faith, Timothy, seems to have been brought up solely by a mother and a grandmother—and he turned out very wise. Food for thought.There is no greater institution for sowing wisdom into the lives of others than the institution of the family. This is why training our children in the way they should go is so essential. Click To Tweet
Even if you don’t have children, this subject should still be important for you. I believe strongly that most of the problems we face in today’s culture are rooted in the fact that parents ignore (or are ignorant of) the principles found within the Scriptures. In turn, they don’t teach their children. The result is a generation void of wisdom.
Now, I’d like you to keep in mind, if at the end of today’s message you disagree with what I’ve said, it is okay. I’m not going to pop off with some passive-aggressive comment that if you reject what I say, then you’re rejecting God’s word. We’re all smart enough to reason together on these matters—and that doesn’t mean everyone’s opinion is correct, it’s just that these matters are complicated. So grace is in order. If you do find that you disagree, I hope you’ll reach out and begin a conversation with me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I would ask one thing though: give my words more consideration than a single read-through. I encourage you to listen to or read this message again, over the next week or so. Think through the ideas that I present. (I encourage you to do this with every message I deliver.)
I’ve yet to meet an individual who could process and retain any message one time through (mine or any other preacher’s). Today’s Church has access to countless books and sermons and blog posts about everything imaginable, but we don’t seem to comprehend the information we consume. We are a quantity-over-quality generation. The problem with this (especially concerning teaching in the Church) is that we listen to a whole lot of messages, but we don’t listen to a whole lot of the message.Today’s Church has access to countless books and sermons and blog posts about everything imaginable, but we don’t seem to comprehend the information we consume. We are a quantity-over-quality generation. Click To Tweet
So as we get started, I want to give you a rough outline which will keep us on track and then we’ll take a deeper dive into each specific line item.
My first point will be the objective of parenting. What’s the point of this task? What does God say we’re doing? And why?
Second, we’ll move to learning how to prepare the hearts of children to accept proper parenting. This section will be all about casting a Biblical vision. Whether you know this or not, there are things we must do to prepare children’s hearts to receive instruction.
Third, we’ll look at the curriculum we should be using. Spoiler alert: our curriculum is, and always will be, God’s Word. This doesn’t mean we should refuse sound advice from others. It simply means we filter all things through God’s word.
Fourth, we’ll explore Biblical methods of discipline in parenting. This section might get a little touchy so prepare yourselves in advance. We will talk about reproof (verbal correction) and the rod of discipline (a Biblical case for corporal punishment).
Lastly, we’ll wrap it all up by looking at the results of sound parenting. What does parenting done well mean for parents? And naturally following, what does parenting done poorly mean?
In the next post we will dive into the objective of parenting. Until then, I’d love to hear the most impactful piece of parenting advice you’ve received. If you’re not a parent, what is the most impactful piece of advice you have heard in regards to children/childhood/growing up?