12 Apply your heart to instruction
and your ear to words of knowledge.
13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.
14 If you strike him with the rod,
you will save his soul from Sheol.
15 My son, if your heart is wise,
my heart too will be glad.
16 My inmost being will exult
when your lips speak what is right.
19 Hear, my son, and be wise,
and direct your heart in the way.
23 Buy truth, and do not sell it;
buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice;
he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.
25 Let your father and mother be glad;
let her who bore you rejoice.
26 My son, give me your heart,
and let your eyes observe my ways.
The Bible cannot be any more clear: Children are to get their understanding of the Person and Ways and Character of God from mom and dad. Likewise, children are to get how God wants them to live in this world from mom and dad. This isn’t something to be pawned off. This isn’t something we are to let “trained professionals” do for us. This is something God has called us – as parents – to intentionally do.
The father described here in this Proverb – the one writing the verses – took it upon himself to lead his family in the way of the Lord. This is wisdom’s way of saying to us, “God ordained it to be this way! Make it your ambition to be like this daddy!”
Dad, what would happen to your children if they gave you their heart? What would happen if their eyes observed your ways? If they gave themselves to what you taught them and to how you lived, would they grow up to be lovers of God?
Would you join me – pause right now where you are – and beg God to give you this burden? Would you plead with the heavenly Father to, by the power of His Spirit, lead you in how to best lead your family? He wants to answer this prayer. He wants to help you. He wants your heart to burn like the daddy’s heart in this Proverb.
Read the verses again. Pray them back to God on behalf of your heart for your kids. Then go in His power and lead as He leads you.
Side Note: I am starting a new sermon series THIS Sunday (April 27th) entitled, “Help! My Family is Messed Up!” I want us to spend several weeks talking about how we can get better at this very thing. Join us this Sunday at 10:30 am in the FBC sanctuary.