READ : Proverbs 4:1-9
Listen, children, to a father’s instruction. (v. 1)
In youth ministry we see too many young people growing up without the wisdom of a father’s instruction. Reflecting on his experiences as a fatherless boy in his book To Own a Dragon, Donald Miller says he became a wild, unsettled kid who would not listen to anyone. He writes, “A guy like me who resists authority is begging to be useless.”
Who wants to be useless? Yet that’s the sad result for many who live without discipline or self-control. What a gift to have a loving parent who helps you learn discipline!
Solomon fondly remembers learning wisdom from his father. King David, of course, had a high profile failure. But what Solomon recalls is not the failure, but the time spent with his father and what he learned: “When I was a son with my father . . . he taught me and said to me . . . Get wisdom, get insight, do not forget, nor turn away.” This was great home schooling!
Parents need not be perfect, but they do need to be present. The greatest need young people have is for adults who will lovingly care about them. Kids need adults who will share honestly about how life works, hand down wisdom, and show them the way. Every generation needs the previous generation to teach truths to it and inspire it to pursue wisdom.
Lord, help us hand down wisdom.