Today’s Proverb in focus is Proverbs 4:1. It’s a short thought to dig into, but I want to put this out there before I forgot about it.
Throughout the book of Proverbs, you see several references like 4:1 shows: “Listen to a father’s instruction.” Let’s take that concept right quick.
First, the idea of a father is the idea of someone who is responsible. I would not discount that Proverbs is a father-to-son book, a man-to-man conversation, but it’s applicable in other ways. But the main point is this: the father is one who is responsible, teaching one who will be responsible.
Second, the idea of a father is the idea of someone who has already lived through many days and trials. There is hard-won experience to be considered. That idea is important: a father is not just a book teacher. A father is one who knows how to make the book knowledge become useful knowledge.
Third, the idea of a father is the idea of someone who has a personal commitment to the one he is teaching. He is not just throwing knowledge out to the void, he is investing in people.
What do we do we with this?
If you can, be a father. Be someone who invests in others. You might be a mother. You might not have any biological offspring. So be it. But do you have others that you can invest in? The wisdom you have gained is not meant to die with you.
In any ways that are still possible, find and have a father. Or a mother. Find people who will invest their hard-won wisdom in you. Do not disdain the wisdom of old age, or the compassion of the generation before to cautiously rebuke and correct.
The key? Listen, reflect, and grow.
Then pass it on.