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Managing Household – Foundational Wisdom for Parenting
Proverbs – Week 4
I had the privilege of teaching through some of the themes in Proverbs this summer. Over a course of six weeks, I will summarize what I learned and post it here on Life Letter Cafe. For additional posts, check out my Life Letter Cafe author page. In true Proverbs fashion, I want to keep each of these points short, punchy, and powerful. If you hang with me for the entire six weeks, you will notice that each of these posts are alliterative, and they employ an inclusio (opening phrase repeated at the end). These are just two of the many literary devices that Proverbs utilizes to make its wisdom memorable. This week’s truth? Foundational wisdom for parenting.
The Truth in Proverbs for Parenting:
Our children come with less instructions than the car seats we take them home in. Thankfully Proverbs sheds some light on how we should be parenting. Primarily we are to be teaching our children. Proverbs exemplifies that we should be teaching general “life” wisdom (Proverbs 4, 8:32-36, 22:6, 23:22-25, 27:11, and 31:1-9) and how to avoid sexual temptation (Proverbs 5, 6:20-35, 7). It is also clear in Proverbs that we should be leading by example (Proverbs 11:21, 14:26, 17:6, 20:7, 23:15-16).
Proverbs is also clear that we are to discipline our children (Proverbs 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; 29:15, 17). The word for discipline is very unique, but the English word actually helps convey the nuance in the meaning. Disciplining our children should lead to discipleship. Think of the type of discipline recommended by Proverbs as teaching with consequences. The consequences don’t necessarily have to be harsh (in fact, other portions of Scripture actually caution fathers in particular not to be harsh—Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21).
Finding Christ in Proverbs:
Ultimately, Proverbs empathizes with parents. It recognize that our children’s actions can deeply wound and grieve us, but it also recognize that our children’s actions can bring us tremendous joy and pride (Proverbs 10:1, 15:20, 17:21, 19:13, 19:26, 28:7, 29:3, 30:11-14, 31:28). Indeed John 1:1-4 tells us that this world was created through Jesus. He knows firsthand what it is like to have rebellious children.
Yet Jesus is not a failure as a parent!
He entered into pain and suffering to redeem us from our sin. Through His blood, we are restored and renewed. But, as with the rebellion in our own children, we are ultimately accountable for our rebellion and our response to this gift of faith from our loving heavenly Father.
Are you struggling with parenting?
How much time are you taking to teach your children?
Good parenting (as with good teaching) takes time and intentionality.
Have your kids already drifted away from the truth? Have you given this disappointment and guilt over to God?
What steps do you need to take with your children to foster an environment of intentionality and discipleship?
For a more thorough treatment of these issues, please see chapters 10-12 of my book The Relational God:
A more detailed investigation and outline of each of these themes in Proverbs can be found on my blog:
For additional posts, check out my Life Letter Cafe author page.