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Children, Parents, Spouses, and Veggies

Wisdom in the Bible is not an abstract concept, but a pragmatic tool. The book of Proverbs realizes this and offers many wise sayings that directly impact daily life.

In today’s exploration of the proverbs, we will study sayings that deal specifically with family.

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
-Proverbs 22:6

This is a good time to remind you that the proverbs provide general advice, not universal truth. What is the general advice found in this proverb?

Parents are able to provide a foundation of faith for their children. Later in life, when children depart from their parent’s house, this foundation will still be a part of them.

Are there times when parents do the best they can to create a foundation, but the children still wander? Of course.

But in general, parents are given an incredible opportunity to start their children on the right path. Church activity, moral teaching and examples, family service projects, prayer— these are all examples of how a parent can start their children off on the way they should go. After they go to college or start a job and begin families of their own, these teachings will continue to be a part of them.

Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.
-Proverbs 23:22

This proverb shares the importance of learning from those who have a lifetime worth of experience. Consider your own parents for a moment. What have you learned from them over the years (whether their example was good—what TO do—or less positive—what NOT to do)? How can you incorporate these teachings into your life?

Seeking wisdom with a humble attitude seems to be a continual theme throughout the book of Proverbs. This particular wise saying encourages us to see our parents (and any older role models) as sources of wisdom from which we can learn.

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
-Proverbs 31:10

I’d like to broaden this principle to include husbands and wives. A spouse of noble character is worth far more than riches. This proverb sees the value of a godly wife to a husband and vice versa. If you are married, this proverb is a reminder to encourage your spouse. How can you support your spouse as they grow in their character? How can you cheer them on as they respond to who God is shaping them to be?

Such a relationship is worth more than rubies.

Better a small serving of vegetables with love than a fattened calf with hatred.
-Proverbs 15:17

This one is just for fun. Obviously King Solomon was not fond of meals made up primarily of vegetables. Yet the overall point is a good one: a shared meal of love— even if the food is disgusting— is better than the best food eaten while filled with resentment. We can all probably think of a family dinner that was tense. Like walking on eggshells. Nobody cares about the food when the atmosphere is strained.

We get a say in the type of atmosphere we create around our dinner tables. Be intentional about the attitude you bring to your table. Even if the main course is solely vegetables.

This Sunday we continue our Lenten series 40 Days Of Wisdom.

See you on Sunday!

-Pastor David

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