The Attitude of a Parent

A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare (Proverbs 15:1 NLT).

Only a fool despises a parent’s discipline; whoever learns from instruction is wise (Proverbs 15:5 NLT).

My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you (Proverbs 3:11 NLT).

Parents may have discipline in mind when they respond, with outbursts of anger, to their children’s bad behavior. But the children often interpret these outbursts as pure punishment. What are parents to do? Train your child to know God’s ways, do them and the children will become secure in them.

The Blueprint

How Jesus speaks and acts provides a blueprint for how we are to speak and act. We may spiritualize how we see Jesus, but Scripture says he faced every temptation we will face—read about Jesus’ difficulties. He was misunderstood, prematurely judged, punished without being guilty, and died a shameful death.

Now, parents are responsible for how their children act and speak. Teach your children how to cooperate with God’s work in their lives. Grace and compassion win overall, but discipline and correction for misbehavior remain necessary.

Punishment Verses Discipline

Punishment is focused on past actions. It produces negative characteristics in children: guilt, shame, bitterness, self-pity, and resentment. Discipline may be applied to current situations, with a forward-looking goal to teach good behavior.

The aim is to correct wrong behavior while keeping the child’s best interest in mind (not the parent’s anger). Train your child to know God’s ways, do them and the children will become secure in them.

Prayer: Father, help me guide, teach, and correct the children you have given us in your ways. Selah.

Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them (Proverbs 13:24 NLT).

Solomon’s direct, harsh wording here takes the reader by surprise. Parents don’t usually hate their children, do they? His intent, in my opinion, is to focus on caring enough to discipline children and guide them by God’s Word.

Look at discipline in Hebrews (below). It adds clarity. The challenge in raising children is when and how to discipline. Parents must purpose to have an attitude and lifestyle that seeks God’s will and desire to conform to it. Teach your children God’s ways, disciplining them when necessary with words and action.

Trained by Discipline

For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems sad and painful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness [right standing with God and a lifestyle and attitude that seeks conformity to God’s will and purpose] (Hebrews 12:11 AMP).

Discipline—even painful discipline—should be an expression of love! It always seeks a child’s best interest. Parents need to use God’s approach when guiding their children. And themselves be guided by God.

Love and Guide

Are parents taking God’s place in discipline? No, we as parents are overseers of our children — God’s children — as they grow up. Parents should bring both words and actions, warnings and consequences, to our children’s challenging situations in life to keep them on track (or right with God’s ways).

 

The principle remains the same: love our children, guide and discipline them when they error. They may not like discipline, but it is necessary for their own good as temptations invade proper thinking and desires. * Teach your children God’s ways, disciplining them when necessary with words and action.

Prayer: Father, thank you that your ways are higher than ours. Keep us on track as we interact with our children).

*Characteristics of Biblical discipline from focusonthefamily.com.

Parents, Discipline Your Children

Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children.
 Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.
Proverbs 13:24 NLT

Solomon seemingly throws out a bomb concerning parental discipline in raising children. With your children, discipline guides them in the way they should live – a life for God. This God-directed task for parents, is strong wording on their responsibility to raise their children for God.

To the Point

Solomon speaks as though he were talking to you on the couch in your living room. You might consider this a biting and a harsh statement. However, his intent is to show God’s perspective of what parents should do to raise their children to honor God and their parents.

Love and Correction

The compassionate phrase “love their children care enough” gets to the heart of Solomon’s message. In love, parents must guide, direct and correct/discipline their children when necessary. This God-directed task for parents is strong wording on their responsibility to raise their children for God.

Prayer: Father, your Word contains vital information and guidance for all of us. Thank you for showing parents the importance of love and discipline.

Note: The next few blogs will examine more on discipline for children. They will be extracted from a Focus on the Family perspective.

Walk With The Wise

Become wise by walking with the wise;
 hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.
Disaster entraps sinners,
 but God-loyal people get a good life (Proverbs 13:20-21 MSG).

Solomon has much to say about wisdom. These two verses show the benefit of making wise choices. The righteous or God-loyal people will be blessed. Jesus embodies wisdom and modeled it for mankind—take on Jesus as your mentor.

Walk with the wise

The term “walk with the wise” could also be termed “be mentored.” Teaching those with promise or the young assures a legacy (of some kind). Whether it’s schooling an apprentice or showing the ropes to an assistant – you will be blessed. Look to find someone to whom you can pass a legacy of a righteous life.

Blessings Follow

One Bible commentator * states the righteous:

  • Will be repaid for all the good they have done
  • All the ill they suffered, though not restored quickly, will be restored

Observe a mentor carefully and decide to take on all that person offers. Choose a person dedicated to God. Scripture tells us the benefits of good teaching/wisdom will be a good life and blessing. The righteous or God-loyal people will be blessed. Jesus embodies wisdom and modeled it for mankind—take on Jesus as your mentor.

Prayer: Father, show me who I can mentor, maybe as you did on the road to Emmaus.

* Commentary by Matthew Henry, Proverbs 13:20-21, biblehub.com.</P.

Fear of the Lord

In Your Bible: Proverbs 9: 9-11

The wording “Fear of the Lord” (also seen in Proverbs 1:7 and Proverbs 10:27), is mentioned 104 times in the Old Testament but only 5 times in New Testament! Jesus is the difference—he shows us how to follow what God wants for us. Yes, Solomon said, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

Biblical Fear

Even before our salvation experience, the fear of the Lord (Respect, Honor, Devotion, Obedience, Amazement) at what God does may be revealed to us! Solomon’s God inspired statements on Wisdom refers to Christ Jesus:

Give instruction to a wise man and he will become even wiser;
Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning. 
The [reverent] fear of the Lord [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the beginning and the preeminent part of wisdom [its starting point and its essence],
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding and spiritual insight.
For by me (wisdom from God) your days will be multiplied,
And years of life shall be increased (Proverbs 9:9-11 AMP).

Revere God

The classical definition of fear of the Lord is reverential awe. * To me this means giving God proper place in my life, actually yielding my will to his, and living to please Him rather than myself.

Therefore, love the things God loves and hate the things God hates. We have developed a high tolerance for evil. But, Jesus came to show how much God loves man. Believe it. Solomon said, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Prayer: Father, I do believe you love me. Selah.

* Sermon Notes by Chuck Smith, blueletterbible.com

Wisdom Calls Out

In Your Bible: Proverbs 8

In Chapter 8 Solomon presents a powerful and thought provoking theme which seems difficult to understand. The pronouns “I” or “me” (used 25 times in this chapter alone) reveal that Wisdom is Jesus Christ calling to mankind. Believers must search for, find, and follow Jesus for true abundant living.

I, Wisdom

Jesus, through Solomon, pleads for his reader to choose his instruction, the only right choice for man! The world shows us to go after wealth and success. We need God’s instruction, aka Wisdom/Jesus, to make the best choices in life.

Choose my instruction rather than silver,
    and knowledge rather than pure gold.
For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies.
    Nothing you desire can compare with it.

I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment.
    I know where to discover knowledge and discernment.
All who fear the Lord will hate evil.
    Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance,
    corruption and perverse speech.
Common sense and success belong to me.
    Insight and strength are min (Proverbs 8:10-14 NLT).

Find Me

God declares through Solomon how our relationship with the ruler of the universe is to be. It’s made specific in verse 17 –  I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me. To me this says, God wants all of mankind to know and love him, for he offers us everything!

Because of me, kings reign,
    and rulers make just decrees.
Rulers lead with my help,
    and nobles make righteous judgements.

17 I love all who love me.
    Those who search will surely find me.
I have riches and honor,
as well as enduring wealth and justice.
My gifts are better than gold, even the purest gold,
    my wages better than sterling silver!
I walk in righteousness,
    in paths of justice.
Those who love me inherit wealth.
    I will fill their treasuries (Proverbs 8: 15-21 NLT).

Here the personification of wisdom, the parallels and analogies made to Jesus are powerful. * Now, praise the Father for his provision, Jesus Christ. Believers must search for, find, and follow Jesus for true abundant living.

Prayer: Father, I believe in and trust you. Help me understand yur instructions throughout the Bible. I answer your call. Selah.

* Chuck Smith, Proverbs 8, Blueletterbible.com.

Like Father – Like Son

In Your Bible: Proverbs 6:20-23; Psalms119:105-109.

The teaching of Solomon and his father, David, give strong, and wise advice on how to prepare for life. The similarities of these two passages in Proverbs 6 and Psalms 119 are inescapable. Pay attention to wise counsel and live God’s way.

Family Instruction

In Proverbs 6, Solomon affirms the need to pay heed to your parents’ godly instruction. To the extent or example of binding them on your heart. This instruction leads to knowing what proper behavior is.

My son, obey your father’s commands,
and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
Keep their words always in your heart.
Tie them around your neck.
When you walk,
their counsel will lead you.
When you sleep, they will protect you.
When you wake up, they will advise you.
For their command is a lamp
and their instruction a light;
their corrective discipline
is the way to life (Proverbs 6:20-23 NLT).

We see the importance parents have to give advice and instructions properly. Children need to honor their parents. Therefore, by not following the instruction it’s understood that discipline will follow.

God’s Instruction

Also, notice similar wording in Psalm 119:105-109. David praises God for His Law, ordinances, and precepts that guide him.

Your word is a lamp to guide my feet
and a light for my path.
I’ve promised it once,
and I’ll promise it again:
I will obey your righteous regulations.
I have suffered much, O Lord;
restore my life again as you promised.
Lord, accept my offering of praise,
and teach me your regulations.
My life constantly hangs in the balance,
but I will not stop obeying your instructions
(Psalm 119:105-109 NLT).

As we read the words (in Proverbs 6) by Solomon, we can hear what his father David says (in Psalm 119). People must heed instruction and live uprightly. Pay attention to wise counsel and live God’s way.

Prayer: Father, how awesome is your Word, your counsel and your Love. I embrace all you have for me. Selah.