GOT KIDS? Moving Toward Each Other in Wisdom. Part 2
Wisdom is a gift from God to us as parents that is part of how God has revealed himself to us. It is our responsibility as parents to obtain wisdom and then to pass it to our children. The Scriptures have a lot to say about guidance for our children in this area and warns us about ignoring the responsibility of appealing to them to follow the pathway of wisdom.
We must realize that Jesus Christ is our wisdom as we are rightly related to God through him. We are fallen sinners living in a very complex world that is made up of decisions and relationships and are trying to discover meaning in all of them. The gospel is God’s plan to rightly relate all things and so bring meaning back to order. We do not see the full extent of this right now because it is all confused by sin and the term Proverbs uses to describe this disorder is death. It is through Jesus Christ that life is restored.
As we look at attaining wisdom in Proverbs chapter 4 and bringing it to our children, we find an appeal to take the path of restoration and can see how it points to Christ. The chapter begins by a father’s call to his son to grab on to wisdom and that it is passed on from generation to generation. (1-4)
Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching. When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother, he taught me and said to me,“Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live.
For some of us, we as parents might be first generation Christians who do not have a legacy behind us. However we do stand with great leaders who have taught us. I think of pastors, authors, and great theologians of the past who have shaped me and I offer those to the next generation.
In the next section is a strong appeal to get wisdom. In other words, pursue Christ but know that it will cost you. Jesus never sugar coated the path of wisdom and spoke of losing your life in order to gain it. (5-9)
Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you.The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”
Wisdom through Christ must be our life. To pursue wisdom other ways will only lead us on a journey of frustration, failure and expose us to the path of the wicked. Proverbs explains the Christian life here as a journey on a path which means we travel step by step. The fix for foolishness in my sin is not a quick fix but a day by day repentance as I consider what Jesus has done for me. The hope of the gospel is “like the light of dawn which shines brighter and brighter until full day.” (10-19)
Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many. I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness. When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble. Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life. Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. Avoid it; do not go on it;turn away from it and pass on. For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble. For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.
The final portion of this chapter is an appeal not to get lost in the journey and to pay attention to every step of the way. It is often our lack of awareness of our own sin that gets us lost and so the need to have God’s Word and loving brothers and sisters in Christ around me to insure that I am seeing myself and my attitudes clearly. It is part of your role as a parent to be the same to your children and guide them on he path of Proverbs life. We are all prone to self-deception and the key to clear vision is a heart that is focused on Christ and the gospel. (20-27)
My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.