“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.” – Proverbs 3:5-8
As much as children need to keep and not forsake their parents biblical commands and instruction, as much as they have a duty to obey their parents, to honor them and submit to their biblical discipline, they also need to grow in consulting their parents and seeking their biblical counsel as they navigate more and more through life. This will change and look different over the years. From the earliest years, by God’s grace, we’re trying to develop godly character and practice in our kids. We’re teaching them to have open communication with us, to ask questions, and learn from us. We’re teaching them the fear of the Lord and the pursuit of wisdom. We’re teaching them how to walk in holiness. We’re teaching them about having relationship with Jesus Christ, as well as what it means to have His mind, and follow His commands. We seek to show them what wholehearted trust in the Lord is, as well as grow their understanding of the Spirit wrought blessings He provides as we sincerely acknowledge and depend on Him as we walk in such trust with Him.
As our children develop through their ages and stages, their thoughts become more concrete. Their needs, their questions and requests for counsel become more detailed. Their challenges and difficulties in their thoughts, relationships, decision-making, and problem resolution become more and more complex. Those challenges are accompanied by greater consequences for those that proceed unwisely, along with praise and happiness for those where wisdom was obtained and followed. Later in Proverbs 3, Solomon speaks more to such happiness in finding and laying hold of wisdom and reaping its benefits:
“Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her.” (vv. 13-18)
We long for our children to bear the good fruit of having more of the fear of the Lord before their eyes and in their hearts! We rejoice when we see it. We rejoice when we see our kids turn their backs on sin and evil. We sorrow when they fall. The same hopes, joys, and sorrows are there, sometimes even stronger, when our children become adults. It’s tragic when children turn away from the truth, stop seeking wise counsel, and even more when they turn away from or against us. In times like these, we need to have camel knees in prayer as we regularly take our grief and petitions before the throne of grace, seeking God’s help and work. In times like these, we need the support of brothers and sisters to help bear the burden, to comfort and encourage us in Christ.
With all of our children, we need to lovingly continue to encourage them in their 5th Commandment duty to honor us. Children honoring their parents is a command and duty that doesn’t end when they enter adulthood. It goes on and, by divine grace, should be cherished and maintained.
“Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.” – Proverbs 15:22
Beloved, we all would do well to remember this and live according to its truth! A multitude of counselors provides great value because hearing the viewpoints of the godly counselors we seek gives us a stronger foundation to make a sound, biblical decisions. We should desire this way of the wise, and abandon the impulsive, little to no counsel way of the fool. Younger and older saints alike need to recognize this value and include their parents in the number of such counselors. In the counsel we give, may we also be mindful to point them to Jesus. May we encourage them to seek the Spirit’s wisdom and guidance in prayer, as well as insight in the Scriptures, that they would glean good understanding from His revealed counsel, truth, and comfort therein.
My love to you all in Christ,