Wisdom For Discipling & Parenting
CLASS-7: Raising Kids Who See Your Character & Look for the One God Says is Best
WOLBI Proverbs Class Themes
God Has Given the Guide to Wisdom in Proverbs
The Best Life Possible is: Doing the Will of God for Life
Don’t Waste Your Life Like SOLOMON
The Ultimate Sin is Pride
The Second Greatest Day of Your Life
The Un-intoxicated Life
Raising Kids Who See Your Character & Look for the One God Says is Best
Cultivating a Godly Work Ethic
Fools, Focus & Avoiding Being Lost in Electronica
The Power of Spoken Words
First, God’s Will Revealed for My Character
- God Wants to Make Me Wise, Not Foolish so that My Life Point towards Him as Lord.
- God Wants to make Me Teachable, Not Stubborn.
- God Wants to make Me Righteous, Not Wicked.
- God Wants to make Me Humble, Not Proud.
- God Wants to make Me Self-controlled, Not Rash.
- God Wants to make Me Forgiving, Not Vindictive.
Secondly, God’s Will Revealed for My Relationships
This is the doctrine of RELATIONAL INTEGRITY
This doctrine of Man’s relationship to others is seen in Proverbs and elsewhere (3:1–3; 4:1–4; 8:17; 17:17; 19:27; 20:19; 23:23; Deuteronomy 8:1; Ruth 1:16; 1 Samuel 2:30; Psalm 34:11; Romans 16:18)
- God’s Will revealed in Five Areas for our Relationship To Our Parents.
God wants me to respect them (17:6; contrast 30:17);
God wants me to Listen to them (23:22; cf. 1:8; 4:1);
God wants me to Seek to bring them honor by being wise (10:1;15:20;29:3);
God wants me to Seek to bring them honor and joy by being righteous (23:24);
God wants me to Seek to bring them honor and joy by being diligent (10:5).
- God’s Will revealed in Five Areas for our Relationship To Our Wife.
- God’s Will revealed in Nine Areas for our Relationship To Our Children.
- God’s Will revealed in Seven Areas Relationship To Our Friends and Neighbors.
Thirdly, God’s Will for My Words
- God wants me to understand the Power of My Words.
- God wants me to know the Limitations of My Words.
- God’s Will revealed for the Character of My Words.
- God’s Will revealed is that I understand the Source of My Words.
CLASS-7: Raising Kids Who See Your Character & Look for the One God Says is Best
Share: How to Pray for Family Guide/Cards
God’s Colorful Guide to Marriage
The outlook for a joy filled lifelong marriage is bleak without the Lord! To help us, God has left a colorful guide to marriage; it is a timeless list of personalities to be avoided at all costs, and personalities to be attracted toward. This list is in the Bible. Nestled among the 66 books of God’s Word are the 31 chapters, 915 verses and over 15,000 words of the Book of Proverbs.
In the past few weeks, as I poured over this book and found there are over 200 verses that actually declare what good men and women, boys and girls look and act like, and what the ungodly opposites look and act like. Have you refreshed your understanding of what the Lord in His infinite wisdom has said about this very practical and relevant area?
A Description of a Wonderful Wife for Your Son
Have you ever checked the recipe in God’s Word for a marvelous daughter-in-law? The verses below I have highlighted in my Bible. When I go out for a father/daughter time, these are the themes I bring up, discuss, share, and train my three daughters to hold on to as God’s desires for them. I call this “The Choices of a Woman Who Honors the Lord.”
If you have sons, why not make this a part of regular prayers for the Lord to provide women who honor the Lord to become your future daughters-in-law! Now look at what God says a young woman can be by His grace. This is what she should want to be, what she should want to be around, and what she should be drawn toward. Pray your future daughters-in-law will have these characteristics.
- A dedicated homemaker. “She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands” (Proverbs 31:13). As Paul said, a godly woman is a worker at home (Titus 2:5). She loves to tangibly serve others with food and skills; she has an open and hospitable home; and she is given to ministry to the sick and needy and less fortunate. Pray your future daughters-in-law will desire to make their homes a “castle” for your sons, honoring the Lord in all that they do.
- A servant at heart. “She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her maidservants. She extends her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy” (Proverbs 31:15, 20). This dear lady has learned the love of Christ for others. Pray your future daughters-in-law will have learned that servanthood is the secret to God’s greatest blessings in life!
- Worthy of trust. “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life” (Proverbs 31:11–12, kjv). Pray your future daughters-in-law will be trustworthy so your sons can rejoice in their goodness within their marital relationship.
- Prudent in finances. “She considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants a vineyard. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies sashes for the merchants” (Proverbs 31:16, 24). Such a woman is a saver, not a spender, because she can see beyond today alone. Pray your future daughters-in-law will be wise in the matters of finance because this area in particular can create many marital difficulties if not brought into line with God’s standards.
- A hard worker. “She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hand holds the spindle” (Proverbs 31:17, 19). God puts a premium on hard work and so this godly young lady moves toward it, not away. There is no slothfulness, indolence, or lack of motivation in her behavior. Pray your future daughters-in-law will be hard workers, and not lazy in any area.
- Of good reputation. “Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land” (Proverbs 31:23). Consider also: “Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil” (1 Timothy 3:7). A son who desires to be a future elder in the Lord’s church must consider carefully the quality of woman he marries. Her role in the home will play a large part in his eligibility for leadership. So pray your future daughters-in-law will be true helpmeets to your sons so they can be even more useful in the body of Christ, as God so leads.
- Wise in biblical truths. “She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness” (Proverbs 31:26). The Word is in this godly young woman’s heart and life, and so it comes out of her mouth. And when it does, it is dressed in the clothes of the Spirit, gentle and kind. Pray your future daughters-in-law will be continually growing in biblical wisdom, gentleness, and kindness!
- Modest in dress. Solomon warned about any woman dressed like a harlot (Prov. 7:10). Paul continues with: “I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes” (1 Timothy 2:9 NIV). A godly young lady’s clothing will point to her Father in heaven and His holiness, and not to her. Remember the words of Paul in the New Testament’s gallery of beautiful women? God’s emphasis is always on beauty of character, as should your sons’ be. Pray your future daughters-in-law will dress modestly, for the Lord’s sake, as is fitting for His children. Unlike wicked woman of Proverbs
- Holy in conduct. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV). A godly woman fears the Lord. She seeks His “well done” over the approval of any-one else on earth. Her fear of God makes her aware of the future consequence of her choices. Such a godly woman avoids any present situation that would be destructive for her future usefulness to God. Pray your future daughters-in-law will desire to be holy in conduct, and thus useful to God. Like Pr. 31, gift from Lord good wife
- Gentle in spirit. “And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, [she] must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful” (2 Timothy 2:24 NIV). Proverbs describes a foolish woman is loud and defiant; she is disrespectful, hostile, aggressive, and cunning. But a godly woman is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere (James 3:17). Most of all remember what God delights in: “Let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:4). Pray your future daughters-in-law will be full of wisdom from above!
A godly young woman will seek to live these secrets of true womanhood. As Solomon said, “Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come” (Proverbs 31:25). Your sons will praise such wives for doing right, and your grandchildren will rise up to bless them (Proverbs 31:28)! This kind of woman is a blessing to all because she is a builder of the home and family. Obviously, each of these areas of prayer for future daughters-in law should also be discipling goals for your daughters. Make your discipling of them a top priority; pray they will become worthy wives for your future sons-in-law! And, above all, pray your daughters will patiently wait for God’s chosen marriage partner for them!
A Description Of A Wonderful Husband For Your Daughter
James reminds us that “we have not because we ask not.” What are you asking God for in your future sons-in-law? Look at what God says a young man can be by His grace. This is what he should want to be, what he should want to be around, and what he should be drawn toward. Pray that your future sons-in-law will be young men who have these characteristics.
- A man of wisdom. “A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel” (Proverbs 1:5). The Lord has already told us in James 3:17 the wise man has wisdom from above. He is characterized as pure, peaceable, gentle, and easy to talk things over with, full of mercy, and wanting to do good. Pray your future sons-in-law will be wise men of great understanding!
- A man of happiness. “Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding” (Proverbs 3:13). The Sermon on the Mount says it all. Happy are the pure in heart, the meek, the humble, the peacemakers, the righteousness seekers, and those who are hungry for God! Pray your future sons-in-law will be happy in the sense Jesus described in Matthew 5:3-10.
- A blessed man. “Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors” (Proverbs 8:34). As Psalm 1 says, the blessed man is rooted deep in God’s Word, is full of God’s fruit, and won’t walk, stand, or sit with those who mock God. Pray your future sons-in-law will be blessed because their heart belongs wholly to God.
- A seeker of justice. “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning” (Proverbs 9:9). This quality of being “just” is like the English word “straight.” A just man is straight—in his talk, walk, habits, and convictions. There is no doubt as to who he is, and where he is going. Pray your future sons-in-law will be just in their talk, walk, habits, and convictions!
- Merciful in attitude. “The merciful man does good for his own soul, But he who is cruel troubles his own flesh” (Proverbs 11:17). Hitler surrounded himself with men who were evil and cruel. Together they made the darkest blot yet seen in history. Pray your future sons-in-law will stay away from those who delight in cruel words, attitudes, and actions!
- A seeker of good. “A good man obtains favor from the Lord, But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn” (Proverbs 12:2). True goodness is a fruit of the Spirit within a person’s life. There is no clearer indicator of what a man will be like than his goodness level. Pray your future sons-in-law will be drawn toward what is good, and not evil. Few people turn out very far from where they are headed right now! A word of caution: “The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, But a good man will be satisfied from above” (Proverbs 14:14). The surest sign of danger in a man is when you detect that he is full of himself. He talks about himself, shows himself off, promotes himself, and on and on he goes. This is a life that is sliding backward toward an abyss; don’t allow a daughter to attach herself to such a person or she will be pulled down into the pit with him!
- A lover of righteousness. “A man is not established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous cannot be moved” (Proverbs 12:3). As Psalm 1 and Jeremiah 17:8 both say, righteousness holds us firmly in the place where God can make us flourish fruitfully and securely. Such a young man will seek to be righteous in every day life: “A righteous man regards the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel” (Proverbs 12:10). Perhaps an animal might have been his transportation, so this could be applied to having the Lord be evident in a future son-in-law’s car. How he drives, keeps up, and decorates his car declares a lot about him. Or, an animal might have been his work; God says righteousness invades all of life—even the barnyard (or work). A righteous man exhibits the Lord in how he treats the indefensible, the weak, and the common. Pray your future sons-in-law will be gentle and kind to all around them!
- Prudent in responses. “A fool’s wrath is known at once, But a prudent man covers shame” (Proverbs 12:16). A fool lets it all out, vents, rages, and carries on, but a godly young man will be Spirit-controlled. Pray your future sons-in-law will be prudent, that they will know how to respond in hard, difficult, or shameful times.
- Diligent at work. “The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labor” (Proverbs 12:24). Proverbs describes the lazy (a sluggard) fourteen times. How much heartache would be avoided if a lazy man was not an option to a daughter, because laziness normally only gets worse. Pray your future sons-in-law will be diligent, hard workers, with godly initiative and ambition to pro-vide properly for your daughters and future grandchildren.
- Wisely cautious. “A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident” (Proverbs 14:16; also 12:8). Brashness, overconfidence, and foolhardiness are not noble virtues. Pray your future sons-in-law will be Spirit-controlled, and thus wisely cautious.
- Upright in walk. “The way of the lazy man is like a hedge of thorns, But the way of the upright is a highway” (Proverbs 15:19). Here is another one of the fourteen verses containing “lazy man” warnings. The way of the righteous is a God-designed path that the wise follow. It is an exhilarating life of adventure, excitement, and wonders—walking on the high places of the earth as Isaiah describes it. But the wicked, in all their seeming gaiety, are actually walking through a hedge of thorns and getting cuts, scrapes, and scratches every step they take. Pray your future sons-in-law will habitually choose the way of the upright, and that they will always evidence integrity in their personal lives.
- A wonderful son. “A wise son makes a father glad, But a foolish man despises his mother” (Proverbs 15:20). Watch carefully how a son relates to his parents. What he is at home will touch his life with blessing or be lacking all the days of his life. Pray your future sons-in-law will be respectful of their parents, and will continue to love and honor them for a lifetime.
- Humble in attitude. “Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, And before honor is humility” (Proverbs 18:12). Pride is the root of all sin, and humility is the root of all virtue. Therefore, the key to God’s blessing is a humble life because haughtiness will only invite disaster. Pray your future sons-in-law will manifest humility in spirit before God and others!
- A man of excellence. “Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men” (Proverbs 22:29). The mark of an excellent man, who will excel in whatever he does, is that he practices and perfects a skill in his life. There is no limit, God says, to what He can do with one who works hard at what he does! Pray your future sons-in-law will be men of excellence who desire to do all things for the glory of God!
Obviously, all these areas of prayer for your future sons-in-law should also be discipling goals for your sons. Make your discipling of them a top priority; pray they will become honorable husbands for your future daughters-in-law. And, above all, pray your sons will patiently wait for God’s chosen marriage partner for them!
Good Boys and Men Look and Act Like This
Listen to what God says we can be by His grace. This is what you should want to be, what we should want to be around, what we should be drawn toward:
- Seek to become a man who is Wise (1.5) Proverbs 1:5 A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel. The Lord has already told us in James 3.17 that this wise man has wisdom from above. He is characterized as pure, peaceable, gentle, and easy to talk things over with, full of mercy and wanting to do good.
- Seek to become a man who is Happy (3.13) Proverbs 3:13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding. The Sermon on the Mount says it all. Happy are the pure in heart, Happy are the meek, Happy are the humble, Happy are the peace makers, Happy are the righteous seekers, and Happy are those who are hungry for God.
- Seek to become a man who is Blessed (8.34) Proverbs 8:34 Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors. As Psalm 1 says the Blessed Man is rooted deep in God’s Word, the Blessed Man is full of God’s fruit, and the Blessed Man is won’t walk, or stand, or sit with those who mock God. And on that point, parents are you aware that your teen aged children sit week after week whispering, passing notes, laughing, and doing everything but paying attention? They should sit with you until they are mature enough to act honorably and respectfully out of your presence.
- Seek to become a man who is Just (9.9) Proverbs 9:9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. This quality of being just is like the English word ‘straight’. This man is straight – in his talk, walk, habits, convictions. You know who he is and where he is going.
- Seek to become a man who is Merciful (11.17) Proverbs 11:17 The merciful man does good for his own soul, But he who is cruel troubles his own flesh. Hitler surrounded himself with men who were evil, and cruel. Together they made the darkest blot yet seen in history. Stay away from those who delight in cruel words, attitudes, and actions.
- Seek to become a man who is Sowing righteousness (11.18) Proverbs 11:18 The wicked man does deceptive work, But he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward. What we plant we reap. Sow secret sins and they come back at harvest time. Sow in godliness and life gets sweeter and sweeter.
- Seek to become a man who is Good (12.2) Proverbs 12:2 A good man obtains favor from the Lord, But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn. Remember real goodness is a fruit of God present within a person’s life. There is no clearer indicator of what a man will be like than his goodness level. Is he drawn toward what is good or evil? Few people turn out very far from where they are headed right now. Change your direction, turn toward the Lord who is good if you are not facing Him and headed toward Him today.
- Seek to become a man who is Rooted in righteousness (12.3) Proverbs 12:3 A man is not established by wickedness, But the root of the righteous cannot be moved. As Psalm 1 and Jeremiah 17.8 both say, righteousness holds us firmly in the place where God can make us flourish fruitfully and securely.
- Seek to become a man who is Righteous in every day life (12.10) Proverbs 12:10 A righteous man regards the life of his animal, But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. An animal might have been his transportation – so the Lord should be evident in your car. How you drive, keep up, and decorate your car declares a lot about you. Also an animal might have been his work. God says righteousness invades all of life even the barnyard (or work). A righteous man exhibits the Lord in how he treats the indefensible, the weak, the common.
- Seek to become a man who is Prudent (12.16) Proverbs 12:16 A fool’s wrath is known at once, But a prudent man covers shame. Another fruit of God living within is self control. A fool lets it all out, vents, rages, carries on. The prudent man knows how to respond in hard, difficult or shameful times.
- Seek to become a man who is Diligent (12.24) Proverbs 12:24 The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labor. Proverbs describes the lazy a.k.a. sluggards 14 times. That is a study in itself. How much heartache would be avoided if a lazy man was not an option. Laziness seems to only grow.
- Seek to become a man who is Good (14.14) Proverbs 14:14 The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, But a good man will be satisfied from above. The surest sign of danger in a man is when you detect that he is full of himself. He talks about himself, shows himself off, promotes himself, and on and on he goes. This is a life that is sliding backward towards an abyss, don’t attach yourself to such a person or you will be pulled down and into his abyss.
- Seek to become a man who is Wisely Cautious (14.16; also12.8) Proverbs 14:16 A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident. Brashness, overconfidence, and foolhardiness are not noble virtues.
- Seek to become a man who is Following the way of the upright (15.19) Proverbs 15:19 The way of the lazy man is like a hedge of thorns, But the way of the upright is a highway. Here is another one of the 14 verses containing ‘lazy man’ warnings. The way of the righteous is a path that God designs, and the wise follow. It is an exhilarating life of adventure, excitement, and wonders – walking on the high places of the earth as Isaiah describes it. But the wicked in all their seeming gaiety are actually walking through a hedge of thorns. Like cut, scrapes, scratches, and tears them up with every step. Which path do you want to take?
- Seek to become a man who is Wise son (15.20) Proverbs 15:20 A wise son makes a father glad, But a foolish man despises his mother. Watch carefully how a boy relates to his parents. What he was at home will touch his life with blessing or lacking all the days of his life.
- Seek to become a man who is Humble (18.12) Proverbs 18:12 Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, And before honor is humility. The key to God’s blessing is a humble life. Haughtiness invites disaster.
- Seek to become a man who is Excellent (22.29) Proverbs 22:29 Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men. The mark of an excellent man, who will excel in whatever he does is that he practices, and perfects a skill in his life. There is no limit God says to what I can do with one who works hard at what he does.
- Seek to become a man who is Upright (29.27) Proverbs 29:27 An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, And he who is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked.
God’s Goal for Women
(I Timothy 5:9, 14): That the New Testament required such a lifestyle for women is clear from the demands of 1 Timothy 5:9–10, 14: the wife of one man, having a reputation for good works, brought up children, shown hospitality to strangers, washed the saints’ feet, assisted those in distress, devoted to every good work, kept house, and given the enemy no occasion for reproach.
- “Brought up children” is A GODLY EXAMPLE OF SACRIFICE
- “Lodge strangers” is A GODLY EXAMPLE OF SERVICE
- “Washed saints feet” is A GODLY EXAMPLE OF HUMILITY
- “Relieved the afflicted” is A GODLY EXAMPLE OF COMPASSION
- “Following good works” is A GODLY EXAMPLE OF TRUE DEVOTION
I Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise your youth. Paul lists 5 areas (the better Gr. manuscripts omit “in spirit”) in which Timothy was to be an example to the church:
- “Word” (speech; cf. Matt. 12:34–37; Eph. 4:25,29,31); “In word” (1 Tim. 4:12) implies that our speech should always be honest and loving, “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15).
- “Conduct” (righteous living; cf. Titus 2:10;1 Pet. 1:15; 2:12; 3:16); In conduct” (the kjv’s “conversation” means “walk,” not “talk”) suggests that our lives are to be controlled by the Word of God. We must not be like the hypocrites Paul described to Titus (Titus 1:16): “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny Him.”
- “Love” (self-sacrificial service for others; cf. John 15:13); “ “In love” (charity) points to the motivation of our lives. We do not obey God to be applauded by men (Matt. 6:1ff), but because we love God and love God’s people.
- (“In spirit” is not in many manuscripts, but it would describe the inner enthusiasm and excitement of a child of God.)
- “Faith” (not belief, but faithfulness or commitment; cf. 1 Cor. 4:2); “In faith” implies that we trust God and are faithful to Him. Faith and love often go together (1 Tim. 1:14; 2:15; 6:11; 2 Tim. 1:13; 2:22). Faith always leads to faithfulness.
- “In purity” is important as we live in this present evil world. Ephesus was a center for sexual impurity, and the young man Timothy was faced with temptations. He must have a chaste relationship to the women in the church (1 Tim. 5:2) and keep himself pure in mind, heart, and body. “purity” (especially sexual purity; cf. 3:2). Timothy’s exemplary life in those areas would offset the disadvantage of his youth. Watch out for the little things.
- Love Their Husbands One word in the Greek text, is translated “love their husbands.” Paul used the same terms to describe godly widows (1 Tim. 5:9). It means to be a one-man woman, totally devoted to one’s husband.
- A Lover of Children This characteristic is also one word in the Greek text, and it means to be a lover of children. As we saw from our study of 1 Timothy 2:15, that is a woman’s highest calling. Obviously God doesn’t want all women to be mothers or they would be. Those women who have no children mean a great deal to God’s kingdom because He has given them freedom to serve in unique ways. God wants women who are mothers to love their children, which involves making personal sacrifices for the benefit of their children. Remember, loving your children is not based on emotion. Rather, it is your responsibility to pour yourself into your child’s life so that he or she grows up to love Christ.
- Sensible Young women are to be taught to be sensible, a required characteristic of elders (1 Tim. 3:2) and older men (Titus 2:2). It refers to using common sense and making sound judgments. Those things are learned best by example, and that’s where the older women can have such an influence.
- Pure Young women are to be morally pure, virtuous, and sexually faithful to their husbands. They are to be devoted to that one man in body and spirit.
- Worker at Home Titus 2:5 also says young women are to be “workers at home.” Since we examined this quality in depth in chapter 6, I’ll just reiterate this one thought: a woman’s responsibility is in the home because it is the place where she can have the greatest impact on the world by raising godly men and women.
- Kind A young woman ought to be characterized by being gentle, tender-hearted, and merciful toward others.
- Subject to Their Own Husbands This echoes Paul’s instruction in Ephesians 5:22. A godly young woman understands God’s created order and submits to it (cf. 1 Cor. 11:5).
Verses to Teach Children for Life
- Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.
- Proverbs 3:5-8 – Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.
It is essential for children to learn of their dependence upon God. Starting while they are young will help for when the get older. However, it is never too late to start infusing them with truth.
James 4:6 tell us, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Consider the magnitude of this truth. If we allow pride to take up residence in our children, we are poising them to be opposed by God. Grace comes to the humble, and humility only comes when we overcome the lie of self-sufficiency.
Proverbs 16:18 and 3:5-8 can be a great starting point for your children, and your family, to understand the problem with pride. With each small step they take toward humility, they move one small step from positioning themselves against God. This is always good.
The fear of the Lord
- Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
- Proverbs 14:27 – The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death.
Though the fear of the Lord is not very popular, it is very necessary. The two verses above are just a small, small sampling of the Scriptures that speak directly to the importance of fearing God.
Once we are aware of our dependency upon Him, we become aware of His power and sway over our lives. This cultivates a healthy fear. And that fear is the very starting point of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding (see Proverbs 1:7 and 9:10).
It is much better for your children to fear the Lord than it is for them to fear you. He is infallible … you are not. He is all-powerful … you are not. He is sovereign … you are not. And, most practically, He is omnipresent … you are not.
Avoiding the fear of man
- Proverbs 29:25 – The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.
Peer pressure is not unique to adolescents. It is everywhere. It is peer pressure that causes children to chaff against their parents: “I don’t want my friend to think I’m weak and cooperative.” It causes one sibling to leave another out: “This game is just for the big kids … not for you.”
The Bible has a term for what we now call “peer pressure” … it is “fear of man.” This does not only mean that you are afraid of a playground bully or a nasty neighbor. It means that you fear the opinion of another, and that fear controls you. It is important to note that, nearly everywhere you find “fear of man” in the Bible, you will find “fear of God” or “trust in God” right alongside it. These two “fears” are in conflict with one another and cannot reside peacefully together.
If we are to be successful in cultivating a healthy fear of God in our families and with our children, we must at the same time train ourselves away from the fear of man. Learning and memorizing this proverb will benefit your family now and throughout your lives.
Receiving Instruction/Criticism/Wisdom from Others
- Proverbs 12:15 – The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.
- Proverbs 15:32 – He who neglects discipline despises himself, but he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.
Through the church, God calls us into relationships with others. These relationships are not optional … they are essential. So, too, is learning to receive what God wants to say to us through these relationships. This is no less true of an 8-year-old than it is of a 48-year-old. We all need wisdom, and God often chooses to give it through the mouth of a wise counselor.
We not only need to learn of the limited wisdom that we ourselves possess. We also need to learn of the importance of being surrounded by wise people. It is good to consider the advice of others. It is better if those others are wise and not foolish advisors.
Children, from toddlers to teenagers, resist depending on the wisdom of others. There is a good reason for that. They are people … just like us. This tendency is not limited to children … it covers us all. So, committing these passages to our memories can go a long way to preparing our hearts to accept counsel … wise counsel.
When life gets hard
- Proverbs 18:10 – The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe.
It’s difficult for children to understand hardships in life. Even when our children are teenagers, life gets very confusing when it’s less than perfect. Do you recall the overwhelming sentiment that swept across the nation on 9/11? Why would God allow something like this?
The truth is that God does not always provide answers for why we experience hardships. That does not mean, however, that God does not provide help. Even in the midst of our confusion and lack of understanding, God provides a refuge for us in times of trouble.
Not every difficulty will hit your children when you are around. They need to know where to run when life gets hard on their own. They need to learn, like you do, that God is always present and always available for the righteous. And, in the midst of confusion, we sometimes need something more than understanding; we sometimes need safety. We need a safe place to be confused, hurt, or broken. In reply, God says, “Come to me.”
When God and I disagree
- Proverbs 21:3 – To do righteousness and justice is desired by the LORD more than sacrifice.
God does not make light of our heartfelt sentiment. However, He does not make it His most prized goal. In more than just this verse, God let’s us know that He desires our obedience. Not because we earn something by it, but because when we obey, we acknowledge with our actions that His wisdom is supreme … not ours.
God does delight in sacrifice. He delights in our service, in our passionate worship, in our love for Him. However, true love for God does not express itself in disobedience. So, even more than our sacrifices, God desires for us to do righteousness and justice.
When they are young, children have an opportunity to practice this proverb under their parents’ authority. As they grow, that authority passes ultimately to its only deserving object—God Himself. Then as adults, and even as parents, we have a chance to model this verse for our children.
Most important of all
- Proverbs 4:23 – Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.
We desire for the springs of life to flow freely from the hearts of our children, our spouse, even ourselves. However, a neglected heart is full of dams and dikes, redirecting and blocking the otherwise free-flowing springs of life. Where have these obstacles come from?
They come from the sin we tolerate … from the wrong things we let in … from the good things we refuse to let in. Ultimately, they come from neglecting to watch over our hearts with all diligence. In the lives of our young children, they often come from neglecting to diligently watch over their hearts.
The truth behind this proverb will begin to equip everyone in your family to guard over their hearts. It will stand as a sentry when you can’t be with your children. It will stand as a reminder when you fail to be as aware as you ought. God can, and will, use this verse to prompt proper thinking and pure decision-making in your life … and the lives of your family.
A great beginning
Once you’ve committed these to memory as a family, celebrate together. It is a great feat to set aside the time that is necessary to do this … and then a greater one to actually do it. However, don’t stop there. The Word of God is full of wisdom for both life and godliness. Find other proverbs, move to some of the psalms, or consider the gospels or other books from the New Testament. Regardless of where you go in the Scriptures, the key is to keep on going. God will make good on this promise:
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will My Word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it (Isaiah 55:10-11).
The Wisdom of God in Proverbs is vital for Parenting. The scriptures reveal in Luke 2:52 four crucial needs in our children :
- Our children lack wisdom. They must be taught how to discern what is right and wrong, unprofitable and profitable, dangerous and safe and so on. This must be taught for them to mature.
- Children lack stature. They are physically weak and start life helpless. They must be fed, directed to rest and care for their needs. They must be protected or they can’t make it in the world.
- Children lack favor with God. They are born sinners. They are pagans who must be led into the truth and love of God. Without training up in God’s way they will drift away.
- Children lack favor with mankind. They are not ready for society. They start and continue in life totally selfish unless disciplined. They must learn humility and selfless behavior. Left alone children are social misfits.
Proverbs A Description of a Wonderful Husband for Your Daughter
Pray They Will Wait for God’s Chosen Partner
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).
The Second Greatest Day of Our Lives
As I have stood in front of crowded churches for decades at weddings, I almost always say the same thing: “You are witnessing the second greatest day of this couple’s life.” There is often a gasp or two from the audience who is obviously thinking this wedding is their greatest day. I then continue, “The greatest day was the day these two individuals repented of their sins, believing in Jesus for their salvation.”
Are we as parents spending regular time prayerfully preparing our children for the “second greatest day of their lives” after salvation? If not, maybe these paragraphs will challenge you.
God has a simple rule about marriage: a believer may only marry another believer. If we believe what God’s Word says, then our sons and daughters should never even date someone who is not a genuine Christian. Evangelistic dating for the purpose of getting someone saved, so that they become a good prospect for a marriage partner, is never wise. According to God’s Word, if that rule is violated, another of God’s rules will hold true: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7). Teach in your Bible times around your table that it is not God’s will for a Christian to marry or date an unbeliever. The Greek word for “communion” is also used for “marriage.” What marriage can light have with darkness? It simply doesn’t work! It is not God’s will, and is therefore sin.
Remember: our sons and daughters will only get one chance in life to start with a wonderful biblical marriage. Teach them it is worth the wait! Pray they will not squander one of the greatest blessings of life by doing their own thing instead of God’s! If you haven’t already been doing so, start praying now for their future mates—even if no one is yet on the horizon. At this very moment, those future sons-and daughters-in-law are in the process of developing their intellect, giftedness, abilities, and most of all who they will become as men and women. Why not have a precious ministry to them—and your sons and daughters—by being prayer warriors on their behalf!
 The original ideas for this study were based on an article from: From the NIV Study Bible, Introductions to the Books of the Bible, Proverbs Copyright 2002 © Zondervan. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
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