“Children don’t come with a manual.” I’ve heard this countless times and I’ve even said it myself. True, when they are born, the hospital doesn’t hand us an instruction book. However, the more I read the Bible the more I’ve become aware that God has given us a great book filled with wisdom for raising children.
Recently I re-read the book of Proverbs. For the first time, I read Proverbs for what it is: A letter from a father to a son—a parent to their child. In Proverbs, Solomon is recording words directly from our Heavenly Father, words of wisdom for children and parents!
The first thing I noticed from studying Proverbs…here is a parent who has something to say! Listen to this reoccurring theme:
Prov.1:8 Listen, my child, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your
Prov.3:1 My child, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your
Prov.4:1 Listen, my children, to a parent’s instruction; pay attention and gain
understanding. I give you sound learning.
Prov.4:20 My child, pay attention to what I say, listen closely to my words.
Prov.5:1 My child, pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words of
Prov.5:7 Now then, my children, listen to me; do not turn aside from what I say.
Prov.6:20 My child, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your
Prov.7:1 My child, keep my words and store up my commands within you.
Here is a parent excited about what he is going to teach his children! These phrases introduce topics like:
102 Proverbs on Wisdom with Words;
truth verses lying; witnessing verses gossiping.
52 Proverbs on Wisdom in making choices;
righteousness verses foolishness; modesty verses promiscuity.
36 Proverbs on Wisdom to be teachable;
be open to correction; heed instruction; consult advisors.
Additional Proverbs on wisdom in giving; work; leadership; and fear of God.
What excites you when you talk with your children? When teaching your children lessons, when do you have something to say that gets you excited?
Sometimes I think my version of Proverbs would sound like this:
Listen my child to your father’s instruction, make your bed first thing in the morning.
My child do not forsake your mother’s and father’s teaching, brush your teeth right after breakfast.
My children, listen to me, do your homework before play.
My child, do not forsake my wisdom, eat your vegetables or no dessert.
There is nothing wrong with these things, but is this what we are most passionate about teaching our children?
Dads, the most basic reason I love Family Time Bible lessons is because they give us a format for something to say to our children—eternal lessons that will benefit our children in this world and the world to come. I encourage you to read through Proverbs as we approach Father’s Day and consider what God wants you to be teaching your children right now. He will bless your efforts!