Ok, for several months I've hit and miss my way through verse by verse comments on most of Proverbs. It's been fun. However, I'm noticing that I've started reading a rut into the chapters, noticing and commenting the same verses. This begins to be self-defeating. It's like looking at my face in the mirror and only looking at the same places. Sure, there's great places to look at, but I've got to notice that I have missed the same spot with the razor the past 3 days eventually. Otherwise, the fuzz gets, well, fuzzy.
So, perhaps today I'll try giving some extended thoughts on just a few verses, or maybe even just one.
I'm really seeing Proverbs 1:8 today, perhaps because Ann and I have been talking a lot about relationships and preparing young people, including our children, for them. We're talking specifically about marriage relationships.
What got us going in that direction is that I just did the wedding for a young couple in our church, and this September I've got another one. Meanwhile, another young couple that got married in their late teens just divorced after 3 years of marriage and realizing that marriage is harder than it looks. Ann is teaching a class of teenage girls, and, well, I've got a whole church of folks to deal with.
What is it about Proverbs 1:8 that is striking me? Most notably this: we tend to wait and expect husbands and wives to teach each other how to behave together. Really, we do. Moms clean up after their sons (and daughters occasionally) but how many young women are planning on cleaning up after their husbands? That's just one example…Dads motivate kids by yelling at them, but is that how you want your sons asking their wives to do things?
The point is this: it's not the job of a new husband and wife to learn the basics of home life. It's the job of mom and dad to have been teaching this through the years. First of all, to have been teaching by modeling it. Whether it's the Biblical value of mutual submission, husband-leadership or just simple respect, you have to show it. Think about it: nearly every family has older adults they interact with, whether they are biological grandparents or other people that come near that role. Parents, your children learn much more about how to treat you by how you treat their grandparents than by what you say.
Second, to have been teaching it by word: are you using words to teach your children all aspects of home life? Fathers, are you teaching your sons to be sensitive to their wives needs? To do things around the house? Guess what? She's going to expect him to do something, but he's learning from you to sit on the couch and watch TV while she works. Moms, are you teaching your sons what they need to know? He should be able to clean up after himself, cook for himself and others, do laundry, and so forth. Don't not teach it just because he's a boy. Are you teaching your daughters? To do "manly" things? Can your daughter change a car tire? How about a car battery? Wives, do you treat your husbands with respect so that your daughters see how it's done? Or do you run him down? Husbands, would you tolerate some boy treating your daughter the way you treat your wife?
All of this comes back to Proverbs 1:8 –>Even the king needed to learn from both Father and Mother. So should we.