18 January 2012

Kids are not the center of the universe

    The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
        fools despise wisdom and instruction.
    Hear, my son, your father's instruction,
        and forsake not your mother's teaching,
    for they are a graceful garland for your head
        and pendants for your neck.

    -Proverbs 1:7-9 

I had two good conversations about parenting yesterday with a common theme--the degradation of youth. For some time, Bible believing churches have been asking, "where are the men?" In October of last year, William Bennett, writing for CNN, addressed the same issue. It seems that youth today, and particularly the men, have lost sight of what it means to be adults. Psychologists have cautioned us never to do anything to harm the self-image our children. Hollywood releases movie after movie featuring all-wise children saving the day when the bumbling adults have fumbled it once again. In the schools, all win and all must have prizes.  In other words, we teach children that the center of the universe is them. 

Proverbs takes a different tack. This book of wise sayings was collected by Solomon, at least in part, to provide principles for wise living to God's people and apparently to his son (Proverbs 1:8). Many people today, even non-believers, would read through Proverbs and find that much of it makes sense to them, yet there are other things that seem to run contrary to the wisdom of the world. In my experience, the wisdom of God's word trumps the world.

As Christians, a primary job that we have is to teach our children the fear of the LORD. We must educate our children that God is the source of all that they see, that he is sovereign and he remains involved in the world. We must train them that he is jealous for his own glory and he desires all people to come to a knowledge of him. We must teach them that the wisdom that the world offers is often foolish.  We must teach them to respect authority. We must teach them to love others deeply and well, even when it seems contrary to do so. We need to teach our young men to work hard and love God and family with their whole hearts. We must teach our children that they are not the center of the universe, God is. 

Daily Reading: Matthew 26, Numbers 29, 1 Corinthians 13, Revelation 10, Job 4, Psalm 1, Proverbs 1, 2 Chronicles 4, Daniel 11, Acts 11

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