PARENTING FROM PROVERBS
by Dan Flournoy
The book of Proverbs is a virtual mine filled with priceless gems of wisdom on parenting. The inspired instruction the Wise man gives should be carefully studied and implemented by every parent. Let us note some of the salient parenting pointers from Proverbs.
1. Parents must teach respect for authority. “My son, bear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother” (Proverbs 1:8). Children need to learn early in life that they must respect authority. “Therefore hear me now, my children, And do not depart from the words of my mouth” (Proverbs 5:7).
2. Parents must exercise discipline. “Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die” (Proverbs ). Fathers and mothers must exercise discipline because “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction will drive it far from him” (Proverbs ).
3. Parents must teach children to avoid bad people. “Do not enter the path of the wicked, And do not walk in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not travel on it; Turn away from it and pass on. For they do not sleep unless they have done evil; And their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall” (Proverbs -16).
4. Parents must teach on sexual purity. Parental instruction is designed “to keep you from the evil woman, From the flattering tongue of the seductress” (Proverbs ). Parents should not hesitate to warn their children of the dangers of pre-marital and extra-marital sex for the Word of God is quite clear on such matters (read Proverbs 7:4-23).
5. Parents must teach children the value of honesty. “Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD, But just weight is His delight” (Proverbs 11:1). “The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, But the unfaithful will be caught by their lust” (Proverbs 11:6). “Better is the poor who walks in his integrity, Than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich” (Proverbs 28:6).
6. Parents must teach children the proper use of the tongue. “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue, Keeps his soul from troubles (Proverbs ). “Better is the poor who walks in his integrity, Than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool” (Proverbs 19:1). “The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness” (Proverbs 15:2).
7. Parents must teach the value of a peaceful home-life. “Better is a dry morsel with quietness, Than a house full of feasting with strife” (Proverbs 17:1). “The beginning of strife is like releasing water; Therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts” (Proverbs ).
Remember that children are a gift from God (Psalms 127:3); therefore we should do our best to rear them in God’s way (Proverbs 22:6).