Wisdom to our Children

Nov 10, 2016
Dave Hatcher

1. The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;
2. To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;
3. To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;
4. To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.
5. A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
6. To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
7. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Introduction (vv1-6) – Proverbs was given for sons to receive from their fathers. It is also for daughters and sons to receive from both parents. It teaches parents how to move into these years of instruction where we no longer simply say “don’t do this,” “don’t touch,” “no,” and the like. These are the years of implanting wisdom, layer upon layer of lessons, words, discussions, talks, rebukes, and exhortations with promises and warnings.
Presenting Your Sons and Daughters (Col 1:27-28) – Don’t forget what you have been given and what you have to give.
You have “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” You have what they need for anything and everything they will encounter in life.
The Beginning, the End (v7) – They don’t need flashy testimonies. They need faithful obedience – that will be flashy enough in today’s culture. They cannot receive true knowledge or wisdom apart from a Spirit-wrought fear for the Lord.
And it is through that fear they will come not only to know or keep the standard, but to love the standard (Phil 2:12-13).

Proverbs 1:8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
9. For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.
Adorned with Instruction (vv8-9) – Teenagers regularly are not teachable, and the Word charges them to be so and to cultivate teachability into their character, seeking the right teachers and teachings. “My son, hear the instruction…” is not said only once in Proverbs, but multiple times from multiple angles. This should encourage you if you feel you have to repeat yourself. Good teachers, good coaches, good mentors, and good parents repeat themselves all the time. The goal is that your children would wear wisdom on their sleeves.
Avoid Evil Companions (vv10-19)
Proverbs 1:10. My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
11. If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:
12. Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:
13. We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:
14. Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:
15. My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:
16. For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.
17. Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.
18. And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives.
1.9 So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.

On the flip-side, they must learn to choose their teachers and friends with wisdom; and you must have oversight in this (1 Cor 15:33). This includes people they spend time with and those they listen to, watch, and read. “My son, if sinners entice you,” should be understood, “…when sinners entice you…” and you should learn to talk about all subjects of enticement with them. Systems of thought, worldviews, presuppositions, must all be examined in the Light of the Word. It is to be addressed in the propositions (is this true, is this good, is this beautiful and edifying) as well as in the
context of the greater Story (where does this lead me – closer to or further from Christ and His kingdom).
Training for Maturity (vv20-22) – Things aren’t so simple and so we must lead our sons and daughters from a naiveté. The world is becoming more and more real to them and so we have to teach them to listen to wisdom in every situation. Including –
Facts of Life (Prov 5) – Do not avoid talks about sex; leading into adolescence discuss “the facts” and before these new enticements hit begin warning them of all the allurement around them. Learn to talk openly and regularly. Teach them that sexual relations in the covenant of marriage is honorable and wonderful (Prov 5:19, Heb 13:4) and that, it is a terrible curse outside of marriage.
Entertainment Standards – We are not to feed on that which is vile (Phil 4:8, Eph 5:3-4, 12) and now it is time for them to do a Bible study on what that means. Apply this with them to what they are reading, listening to, and watching. Do they have the courage to “walk away” when everyone else is doing it? Are you safe to talk about concerning these things?
Dress Standards – The Bible doesn’t give us direction regarding cultural variations; it does however address cultural deterioration. The heart that is fearing the Lord seeks the center of faithfulness and is not interested in seeing how close he or she can come to the edge.
Wisdom Rebukes (v23) – Proverbs teaches over and over that there are consequences to our actions and the way we discipline our teenagers should do the same. Do not subsidize sin, rebellion, disrespect, or laziness, with free room and board (2 Thess 3:10). It may mean losing privileges (car keys, sleepovers, internet, tonight’s dinner), but these things should not be “groundings.” Rather, teach the connection between privilege and responsibility (to whom much is given, much is required). Instruct on restitution, and doing so in the thankful spirit of forgiveness.
Training Sons and Daughters as Disciples (Prov 2:1-9) – You begin to see how you can go through the book of Proverbs over and over for yourself and with your children (as well as all of the Word).

Additional Reading