“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” So says Solomon, as he begins his instruction to youth. Thus, for any parent, this should be the starting point for parenting as well. But where is the ending point? For that matter, does it ever end? Does one ever become a master? Has anyone ever been given an “A” in parenting? If there was ever a more challenging endeavor in our lives as Christians, surely parenting ranks near the top.
If you read through any Christian book on parenting, you will soon find the book of Proverbs to be the most oft-quoted source of wisdom in raising children. Raising children is ultimately about raising disciples, whether they be our own children, grandchildren or ones upon whom we have any sort of oversight. Thus, those with no children of their own still have the blessing and calling to invest in other young people. If you think not and that you’re off the hook, go read Matthew 28:18-20 again and realize that parenting surely does fall under the umbrella of discipleship, and we are all called to discipleship.
In studying for this sermon, I’ve been fascinated by the simple point that the Proverbs are so engaging. They represent such a beautiful example of “show don’t tell.” Granted, they do “tell” also, but they do it with such graphic, witty truisms that force us to stop, think, reflect, apply. They teach parents to not just have “the talk” with our children, or to give them the “my way or the highway” ultimatum, but to continue in an ongoing dialogue where we seek to capture the youth’s hearts and continually point them to Christ. In so doing, we are completely humbled at times by our own sins, failures and weaknesses, thereby driving us to Christ as our only source of hope. And when we run there, we hopefully take the youth along with us, thereby arriving at the source, the destination and the overflowing abundance of true wisdom.
Pastor Darol Timberlake