How many of you had parents? Silly question…but I thought I would start off with that little ice breaker.
A couple of weeks ago while teaching on Proverbs, I asked the question-If you were to pass away today, what nugget of wisdom would you want your child to have learned from you?
The mother of King Lemuel asked the same question as she gave advise to her son, the King. The second verse of the much forgotten first nine verses of Proverbs 31 reads:
What [should I say], my son? What, son of my womb? What, son of my vows?
Like every parent, the King’s mother speaks/writes like one concerned with what to tell him…with what to share with him. I can feel the anguish of having to choose words carefully. And the prose is filled with concern.
I have two years before my oldest leaves our home and embarks on his own life. The next two years “concern” me. I am choosing my words carefully when I instruct and correct him. I remember presenting him to the church body when he was months old. I vowed to raise him to love God with all his heart, soul, and mind. I remember my vow daily. I promised to teach my oldest to live his life for God. Remember the name Lemuel meant “for God”. Devoted to God. I learned from commentaries that Solomon was also called Jedidah meaning “of the Lord”. So what vow are we talking about? What devotion? The commandment from Deuteronomy 6:4-7.
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
Parents teach your children what is good. No matter their station in life, everyone needs instruction. Kings the most. Men the most…husbands the most…fathers the most. Because children may recall all the good and bad teaching.
I remember thinking “Oh great…one day my kid is going to show up on Oprah and point at me and blame me for all his issues.” Probably.
I lean toward Matt Chandler’s assessment.
“We’re just gathering all the spiritual kindling we possibly can around our kids and begging God to ignite their souls for Him”.