The Book of Proverbs
Why do some children adore their fathers and others hate them? What makes the difference? Sometimes children are caught up in the mistakes and mindset of fathers who won’t do what they should to guide them into a safe, secure haven. The fathers’ own pride and arrogance make shipwreck both of their own lives and their children’s. It doesn’t have to be this way.
The Proverbs instruct us in wisdom, judgment, and equity. A wise person will listen, and learn. Wisdom cries out in the streets (See Proverbs 1:20-22.), asking how long the simple (immature) will remain gullible, scorners mock, and fools hate knowledge?
A child isn’t born a scoffer or a fool. A long road leads to the evolution of a fool.
Children need your guidance and protection.
They’re easily molded.
Children’s minds and hearts are naïve, innocent, easily shaped.
They lack understanding.
A child must be guided from innocence into wisdom and maturity.
They can be quickly led into error.
Because of their innocence, they’ll believe anything. They can be tricked and misled; they’re living in constant danger. (See Proverbs 13:15; 22:3.)
Older children need godly correction.
Little children aren’t scorners yet. But heads up, dads: if you don’t guide them, they’ll take the next step, becoming the scoffers, the smart-alecky kids, the teenage cynics, the mockers at the university.
They’ll defy instruction. (See Proverbs 1:22.)
Scorners will fire back. (See Proverbs 9:8.) They won’t listen. It’s like talking to a brick wall—they’ll tune you out.
They’ll despise what’s good and godly. (See Proverbs 15:12.)
Scoffers never ask you for help. When you try to correct them, they’ll look at you with scorn and hatred.
They’re on a track for destruction. (See Proverbs 13:13.)
If they laugh at the Word of God, they might laugh their way right into Hell.
But there’s hope; they can still be reclaimed.
Catch them before they self-destruct.
If not restrained by parents, a scorner becomes what the Bible designates “a fool”—immovable, rebellious, arrogant, and wicked.
A fool rejects wisdom. (See Proverbs 1:22,15:14.)
He ridicules righteousness. (See Proverbs 14:9.)
He rejects reproof. (See Proverbs 17:10.)
Don’t even try. He won’t hear you.
He rejoices in iniquity. (See Proverbs 15:21.)
His perverted moral sense calls good evil and evil good. His heart is hardened, his conscience is seared, and his mind is defiled.
Little children begin life innocent and open. But Dad, if they’re not rescued when they become scorners or smart alecks, they’ll become fools on a fast track to Hell.
America is in serious trouble. Secular humanists captured our public schools, making them their “Sunday School” for humanism, purging any vestige of Christianity. In light of this, how can you father a wise child, not a fool? With modern culture fighting you, you must gear up for this battle.
Seven ways to father wise children:
1. Expound truth.
Saturate them in Proverbs, the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes—basic truths. It’s your responsibility (See Deuteronomy 6:6-9.) to teach these to your children and grandchildren. Help them memorize. Get the Word into their hearts early.
The battle is for the mind. As the child thinks, so is he.
2. Expose sin.
Children need to see sin is exposed and consequences fall on the scorner. (See Proverbs 21:11.) Your child must see the repercussions of sin. (See Proverbs 19:25.)
3. Expel scorners.
Don’t let them hang around with scorners and fools. Children succumb to peer pressure. Help them select their friends. Open your house to good friends. Make your home the headquarters for fun. But if there’s a scorner, smart aleck, or fool, be firm. Say, “Son, there’s the sidewalk.” (See Proverbs 22:10.)
A verse for early memorization:
“He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20).
4. Express love.
Delight in your children! Don’t be negative. (See Proverbs 3:12.) Words can hurt. Learn to listen. Try to see life from their point of view. They’re facing things you never faced.
5. Be gentle.
The one characteristic I’ve seen in all dads whose children love and follow them is gentleness. They want a strong dad, but they want him to be gentle! Touch, hug, give them non-verbal affection.
6. Be transparent.
Let them know your fears, failures, joys and goals. They know you’re not perfect; they don’t want you to be a phony.
7. Be available.
Make it a priority: be available to your child.
If you feel inadequate—so do I. None of us has what it takes to be this kind of dad. That’s why we need Jesus.
We must have Christ in our hearts! The Christian life isn’t difficult, it’s impossible. Only one can do it, and that’s Jesus.
But He will do it, in us and through us, if we’ll let Him. The best thing you can do for your children is to love God will all your heart.