Monday, July 16, 2012
Today’s Topic: A Parent’s Privilege
Today’s Text: Proverbs 1:8 (NIV) Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
We all had them. Many of us were them. Some of you are planning to be one.
The first recorded words of God to people were His blessing and commanded to become parents. Chronologically of course God had spoken to Adam prior to the creation of Eve, but in Scripture chronology takes a lesser role of priority to the revelation of God’s heart to man. His heart is for multiplication, and it is through the marriage of one man and one woman that His heart is to be expressed.
As parents and grandparents, our role is significant before the Lord. In his opening statements of wisdom, Solomon addresses his son and challenges him with the importance of listening to his father and mother. Inherent in that discussion is the reality that a parent’s instruction and teaching must be worthy of hearing and applying to a child’s life.
What are we teaching our kids? That question must burn deeply in our minds every day as we consider the awesome and eternal responsibility God has given us to instruct, teach, and train the next generation of Christ-followers.
A quick study of the two Hebrew words used in this verse is valuable for us. Dad is responsible for instruction and Mom brings teaching. Now I must say that this is not the only verse about parents in Proverbs, and it certainly cannot be taken as the whole counsel of God concerning the unique roles of mom and dad. But in this first reference to a parent’s responsibility, the literal meaning of the Hebrew words tells us that Dad is the enforcer of God’s law that mom has taught.
The word translated “instruction” means “chastisement”, and is translated as discipline, correction, and instruction. Dad, your role with your kids is to correct them when they are outside the boundaries of God’s will and to do so with the intent of training them to stay inside those boundaries.
Mom’s, your word “teach” is the Hebrew word for “law”. You will recognize it because it is the word “torah”. To moms God has given the responsibility of teaching the law of God to her children. That is not to say that dad doesn’t also have that responsibility. What it says is that between mom and dad there is a mutual understanding of and agreement with the law of God and they work together to train their children to know and serve the Almighty.
It is our privilege as parents to represent the Lord Jesus Christ to our children. It is our responsibility to teach them and train them through instruction and discipline to recognize the Lordship of Jesus Christ over their lives. We will fail at that if He is not Lord of our lives. Verbal instruction and teaching must be validated with visible activity.
Our kids are being taught whether we are saying anything to them or not. They learn mainly by observing.
So what are we teaching our kids?