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Monday, July 28, 2014

Wise Child, Wise Parents

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Proverbs 13:1 says, A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.

I recently spent a week at a Christian camp for 10-13 year-olds. We had a great week, and I thoroughly enjoyed the campers and the counselors. I have worked at this same camp for most summers over the last more than twenty years, and I’m noticing a trend. It has come slowly, but it is happening.

There’s less respect for authority today than years ago. The leaders have to ask several times for quiet—instead of just once.

I taught a class to the girls, and one of the illustrations I used was a personal story. I told them it was a true story. Afterwards, several girls asked me if it really happened. Obviously, they thought maybe I was making it up.

Without going into the whys of the distrust and disrespect, let’s look at some positive teachings in the Word of God.

David to his son Solomon:
  • My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother . . . My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. . . . My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path (Proverbs 1:8, 10, 15).
  • My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life (Proverbs 6:20-23).
Solomon taught:
  • The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother (Proverbs 10:1).
  • A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother (Proverbs 15:20).
  • Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father: but he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth his substance. The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame (Proverbs 29:3, 15).
  • Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice (Proverbs 23:22, 25).
Jesus said:
  • For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition (Matthew 15:4-6). This is a passage about adult children not providing for their aging parents. They said the money was “dedicated to God” so they could get out of honoring their parents as they should. Jesus was displeased.
The Apostle Paul taught:
  • Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) (Ephesians 6:1-2).
  • Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord (Colossians 3:20).
  • But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God (1 Timothy 5:4). This instruction is for adult children to take care of widows, either mothers or aunts. It is always the family’s responsibility to take care of its own.

Wise children will:
Listen to their parents.
Choose their friends wisely.
Obey their parents.
Please their parents and make them proud.
Honor their parents.
Take care of aging parents.

Wise parents will:
Instruct their children.
Teach children to obey clear commands.
Punish wrongdoing and reward right actions.
Enjoy their children.

If you are a parent, are you instructing and teaching your children? Do you expect obedience and respect?

If you are a child, do you obey and respect your parents? Are you careful to have friends that will influence you in the right way?


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