photo by skittzitilby
Our family began a study of Proverbs this morning, passing the Bible around while each one of us read 6-7 verses of Chapter One. The first ten chapters of Proverbs is the Prologue, kind of an introduction about, well, the wisdom of being wise, really. It’s full of admonition about how important it is for the reader to forsake the ways of the foolish in favor of obtaining instruction in discernment and knowledge.
Verse eight says the following:
“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”I bet I’m not the only parent who wants to jab their child, reminding him in a not-so-gentle way to PAY ATTENTION to that verse, especially if he wants that proverbial head garland and neck chain promised in the next verse. After all, if this child would just LISTEN TO ME when I tell him something, he would “live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm” (verse33). “Harm” in this case is losing whatever electronic device I deem would create the most discomfort while the child discerns how he could have handled a situation differently.
(In truth, I haven’t had to employ this disciplinary tactic for several years, my two children remaining at home being 15- and 17-years old. Such is the benefit of putting Christ in the center of your home, but that’s a topic for another article. Suffice it to say it would be the disciplinary method of choice if I had to use it.)
What struck me about verse eight this time, however, was not how my children should heed it, but how I should be living it. Frankly, I don’t think I’ve been doing such a crack-up job of teaching godly truths to my children lately.
I spoke about it with my husband the other day. Since he’s retired from driving over the road, which used to place me as the one in authority while he was away during the week, I’ve relinquished some of my responsibility toward teaching the children. I guess I kind of thought, well, Bill’s home now so I’ll step back in deference to his place as the primary teacher.
And he has stepped up to assume that role. Every morning he brings us together for a daily family devotion of prayer and Bible reading. Somewhere in the transition, though, I lost touch with my role.
What’s my role? Seeking opportunity to insert Jesus into my daily conversation and activity with my children, what others would call ‘teachable moments.’ The operative word here is ‘seeking.’ During these transitional months of my husband being home 24/7 and us adapting to a new routine, I’ve gotten a little complacent about looking for those teachable moments.
It’s kind of hard for my child to forsake my teaching if I’m not making a diligent effort to, um, teach. That jab I spoke of earlier needs to come poking around in my direction.
Yes, I suppose you could argue that it’s only been a few months since my husband retired, and after all, what terrible thing could have befallen my children during that time? However, I’m reminded that it is all too easy to allow complacency to gain a foothold. None of us intend for it to happen. But it does happen, in tiny little increments, until at some point it becomes a totally different lifestyle from what we had not that long ago.
We must always be in appraisal of the role God has called us to, especially if we are a parent. We must consistently be in the Word of God so His truths pierce whatever veil of distraction or complacency have occurred or, quite frankly, we’ve allowed.
Give Me Just Enough Jesus To Get Through To Next Week
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