Proverbs 4

Week 4 – Proverbs 4

It is time to dive into chapter 3 of Proverbs.  So let us start:

Proverbs 4:1-27

  1. Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.
  2. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching.
  3. For I too was a son to my father, still tender, and cherished by my mother.
  4. Then he taught me, and he said to me, “Take hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands, and you will live.
  5. Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them.
  6. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.
  7. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
  8. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.
  9. She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.”
  10. Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many.
  11. I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.
  12. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble.
  13. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.
  14. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers.
  15. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way.
  16. For they cannot rest until they do evil; they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.
  17. They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.
  18. The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
  19. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.
  20. My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words.
  21. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart;
  22. for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.
  23. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
  24. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
  25. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.
  26. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.
  27. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.

Section 1 – Wisdom of Parents (verse 1 – 13)

In the first 4 verses of this chapter we read why it is so important for parents to share wisdom with their kids. Here are 2 reasons why kids should listen to their parents:

  • Parents give sound learning (verse 2)
  • Parents were also young, so they can talk out of experience (verse 3)

As one read through the book of Proverbs, it becomes more and more clear on what one of the roles of being a parent is. Teaching. To teach our kids what is wrong and what is right. Teach them to seek knowledge and wisdom. Teach them the Word of God. I can go on with endless examples. But one thing to remember is that it is your role and responsibility as a parent to teach. Not the schools. Not Sunday School. But you.

Section 2 – Stay away from bad people (verse 14 – 19)

To stay away from bad people is so obvious sometimes. But how many times did we find ourselves in a situation where we look at people in our lives and think, ‘how did I let them into my life?’ Maybe it is an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend. Maybe it is a business colleague. Or maybe just a friend. We all were in this type of situation before.

But what if your children knew from a young age what type of people to stay away from? Don’t you think it will solve a lot of future heartache for them? They won’t make the wrong friends. They won’t go into business with the wrong people. They won’t end up with the wrong spouse. You can solve a lot of future problems for your child if you can teach them what type of people to stay away from.

Verse 15 is clear. Simply avoid them!

Section 3 – Life Advice (verse 20 – 27)

I mentioned in section 1 that one of the reasons kids should listen to their parents is because parents have more life experience. But it is one thing to have life experience and not sharing it with your kids. It is probably the easiest way to teach your kids wisdom, is to simply share with them the life lessons you have learned.

In verse 23 to 27 the author shares some valuable life lessons to his son. Let me summarise them for you:

  • Guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
  • Keep your mouth free of perversity
  • Keep corrupt talk far from your lips
  • Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you
  • Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways
  • Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.

I am sure that you have learned a lot during your life. As they say, we learn from our mistakes. Make sure you carry over your life lessons to your kids.

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