“A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke.”

– Proverbs 13:1

Fundamental to all that Proverbs teaches is the notion that we do not in and of ourselves think correctly about life and that we each need the corrective instruction…

  • of God – “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke.” – Proverbs 3:11
  • of our parents – “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching” – Proverbs 1:8
  • of God’s people – “He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray” – Proverbs 10:17

It should come as no surprise then that to reject the corrective instruction of God and others is to reject the fundamental principle of wisdom: the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7).

Some Gleanings on Parenthood and Childhood from Proverbs

“My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck. When you walk, the 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, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life.”

Proverbs 6:20-23

A week ago I started meditating upon Proverbs and to help me I have been using this book by John A. Kitchen and am I ever glad for its insights. Here are some things I highlighted and read and re-read this morning from it:

  • “As in Proverbs 1:8, the mother’s instruction is added to that of the father. This implies that a solid home life, with both father and mother contributing harmoniously to the training of the children, is a powerful deterrent to an immoral lifestyle.” – v. 20
  • “The father and mother are authorized by God to issue ‘the commandment’ and ‘teaching’ to their children. The parents have been vested with divine authority in the home to set the boundaries of behavior, thinking, and attitude for their children.” – v. 20
  • “In a day of diminishing parental rights, where the state, the grandparents – even the child himself – are given ever expanding rights, this foundational and fundamental endowment from God to parents must be heard again. Parents, lead your homes!” – v. 20
  • “There is never a place, nor a time, in your life in which the word of God taught by godly parents will not provide you the answers to guide you safely into His will. Untold sorrow can be avoided if parents will but teach their children the Scriptures and if children will but obey what they are taught.” – v. 22
  • “The words of parents, when thoroughly permeated with the word of God, move the feet and will of a child into the will of God. They become a personal guide through life. They also, then, are set as a sentry, keeping guard over the one who is thus guided.” – v. 22
  • “A loving parent’s counsel and command will sometimes step on your toes. But, there is much good to be learned and much sorrow to be avoided, if you will but embrace it.”