“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.” (Proverbs 1:8-9)
I find it very interesting that Solomon, after laying forth the principle of fearing the Lord, goes immediately to listening to parental instruction. Listen to your father and stay to your mother’s values, he says. And…what’s more, if you do, there is protection and blessing which will come with it. Think for a moment with me. Before you even had a relationship with Christ, you had a relationship with your parents. Before God’s Word ever was read by you, you had their word. That’s the first step toward wisdom…wise parents. Consider yourself blessed indeed if you had or still have godly parents who instilled in you at a young age how important it is to follow the Lord. Unfortunately, not all children are that blessed.
How do dads instruct? How do mothers teach? First, they offer their words of wisdom which has often been gleaned through the process of tough experience. Either they personally went through something they never want their children to have to endure, or they saw a moral disaster unfold before their eyes and made a commitment to protect their young children proactively. Second, they talk to their children and do not assume their children “got it” from school or church. Third, they live their lives such that their children desire to emulate their paths.
Maybe you were not one of the blessed ones, raised in a solid Christian home; or your home was nothing but strife, contention and survival. You were instructed, too. Your education just came from another angle. You learned what not to do, what you never wanted for your children, when your time to teach came around. There is nothing we can’t learn, either from a positive or a negative perspective. Regardless of what your classroom looked like growing up, choose now to instruct your children with right words and right living. They will be glad you did…and so will you.