Skip to main content

November 4, 2013

`Ideally, as I get this project truly on-track, what you’ll see are focal passages chosen in this manner: day of the month (1,2,3, etc.) gives us the verse; number of the month (January=1, February=2, etc.) gives us the verse. What to do with November and December? Either play catch-up or make sure we haven’t missed anything in the overall sweep of the passage.


So, today we look at Proverbs 4. Let’s consider the whole chapter here: we open with the imperative to “Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father.” From there, we read a collection of verse that stress the importance of finding and growing in wisdom.


Let’s look at two key points:


The first is the father’s recognition of his own shortfalls. He sees the need to instruct his sons in life, but recognizes that they need wisdom and understanding beyond what he can simply teach them. Parents, keep this in mind, your children need more than they can learn from you.


And yes, we homeschool our kids and still believe that. How? What do you think those 50+ boxes of books are that we haul around every time we move? Just to support a new chiropractor? Additionally, we work to involve our children in other opportunities, but they learn from many people. And they are not limited to the textbooks that had the best bulk price available, either.


So, parents, teach your children what you know, but help them connect to and grow by learning from others.


That extends to this idea as well: if you are a teacher, mentor, or pastor, guess what? The people that you are the primary influencer of? They need others, too. Don’t be the sole source.


The second point, though, is a bit of a counterpoint: the sons are to learn through their father, including listening to his introductions of wisdom. I would take in to account Proverbs 1:8 where the mother’s teaching is also commended, so count this as parental wisdom: God-honoring parents ought to be the center-point of their children’s learning. Who has God placed, consistently, in the life of a child to help them learn and grow? The parents—parents that fail to even try, in any way at all, to be sources of wisdom and spiritual guidance, are shirking that God-given responsibility.


Parents are not specifically responsible for the outcome: unless you are negligent, the goal is to train up a free, prepared individual to stand before God responsible for himself.


Those of us who work to aid parents should never consider replacing parents who are doing their best to be God-honoring. It is not for you to step between a Godly mother and her children, just because you think you can do it better. If you are invited to assist, then do so—that’s another matter. But otherwise, we should allow parents to do what they are God-commanded to do: teach their children.


Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.

First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Abraham Lincoln Quoted by Jesus! Mark 3

Mark records a curious event in his third chapter (link). If you look at Mark 3:25, you'll see that Jesus quotes the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. After all, one of the highlights of the Lincoln years is his famous speech regarding slavery in the United States where he used the phrase that "a house divided against itself cannot stand." This speech was given in 1858 when he accepted the nomination to run against Stephen A. Douglas for Senate, but is still remembered as the defining speech regarding slaveholding in the United States. I recall being taught in school how brilliant and groundbreaking the speech was, how Lincoln had used such wise words to convey his thought. Yet the idea was not original to Lincoln. Rather, it was embedded in Lincoln from his time reading the Bible. Now, I have read varying reports about Lincoln's personal religious beliefs: some place him as a nearly completely committed Christian while others have him somewh…