For the new year, I will be looking at excerpts from the book of Proverbs. Our theme will be parental guidance.
Think with me of a few “beginnings” that line the road of parenting a child. The beginning of life, the beginning of crawling, walking, sleeping through the night (them and us!), feeding oneself, the dreaded toilet, school, teen years, and independence for them, as an adult. Certainly many other “beginnings,” both great and small, are encountered along the way.
There is another “beginning,” this being the one that the Lord sees as critical and necessary. It practically opens the book of Proverbs; the wisdom collection that frames so much of what life before God should be:
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7
I know parents will go to extreme lengths and sacrifices to equip their child for a “good” life. Main arenas include academic success, athletic prowess, career focus, and social connectedness. Admittedly, nothing is grossly wrong with these résumé builders, but is the definition of the “good” life coming through our wisdom book, or God’s?
In the hopes, dreams and aspirations we hold for our children, none should eclipse the core value of their knowing their Creator God, and walking in reverence before Him. All other “beginnings” (and ultimately, “endings”) will be colored by either their fear of the Lord or their disregard of Him.
So here, at the beginning of the year, we focus on the right beginning. For self, to be the man or woman before God that we should be. And for our children, to be the people not that we want them to become, but that God has designed for them to become.
As parents, we influence their walk, by the beginnings we make, or by the things left undone.