A FATHER’S ADVICE
Sunday, June 18, 2017
  Nehemiah 10-11 | Acts 4:1-22

“Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.” —Proverbs 4:1

A good portion of the book of Proverbs reads like a father’s handbook, because it is written by Solomon, addressed to his son or sons. Solomon was King David’s son, and he shares with fondness a warm memory of his youth. He writes, “For I too was a son to my father, still tender, and cherished by my mother. Then he taught me… ‘Take hold of my words with all your heart… Get wisdom, get understanding…do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you’” (Proverbs 4:3-6).

We know this was set indelibly in the heart and mind of Solomon, because when he inherited the throne, God told him to ask for anything he wanted. Still a youth, Solomon asks God to give his servant a discerning heart to govern his people. Pleased with his request, Scripture tells us, “God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore” (1 Kings 4:29).

Wisdom is not instinctive, nor does it become inherent in us as we grow older. Proverbs teaches that wisdom has to be sought, and that it may be found. Solomon writes, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,” and “Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge” (Proverbs 9:10; 14:26). Wisdom is only possible when it is born out of a knowledge of God and a fear of God that derives from a deep reverence for God and His sovereignty in all things.

Our children need to see we have a relationship with God; one of love, dependence, trust and obedience to Him. Also important is not to outsource our children’s spiritual development to the church or our schools. This may supplement their spiritual growth, but the responsibility is on us as parents to ensure they grow up knowing that at the core of our lives is a God who is alive, active, who loves us and is a God we can talk to.

Solomon was blessed with the spiritual gift of wisdom and all that defines wisdom: insight, understanding, discretion, shrewdness, knowledge. But I would like to offer a personal definition. Wisdom is the ability to see life from God’s point of view; that is, from a divine perspective. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” Wisdom is not something to be achieved, but received. Our children are a gift entrusted to us by God, and we cannot do better than to seek God’s wisdom in raising them.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, today especially we pray for fathers everywhere. May they seek Your wisdom in raising their children, so that they will become men and women of God. Thank You, Lord.


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