For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.
For the month of August, I decided to direct my attention to the book of Proverbs. My children and I are reading a chapter per day this month, and we are discussing the necessity of wisdom in everyday life. I must say I have been pleasantly surprised at how much my children already value common sense, but I want to dig a little bit deeper.
One of my top five favorite theologians of all time is Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Mr. Spurgeon is called the “Prince of Preachers” among Biblical scholars and rightfully so. He was an incredible teacher of the Word of God, very passionate about his craft. Not only was he a preacher, but he was a husband and a father. Mr. Spurgeon and his wife, Susannah were parents to twin boys, Charles and Thomas. They had the pressures of not only being the pastor and pastor’s wife of one of the largest churches in London, but they were raising children, dealing with everyday life, watching society crumble around them because of its sin, and they dealt with health and mental issues within the family. They had a lot with which to contend.
I mention Mr. and Mrs. Spurgeon because one of my favorite parenting quotes came from them. I have tried to live out this quote, even before I knew the quote existed. It goes like this: “Train your child in the way in which you know you should have gone yourself.” Is that not priceless? I think often of how much heartache I could have avoided had I been raised with a daily dose of God’s Word. I think of how the conviction of the Holy Spirit could have come over me before I did some of the stupid things I did if only I had known what the scripture said about those things before I did them. I think of how I wish I had been taught to pray as a child, so that I could have asked the LORD for guidance before I made some of the stupid decisions I have made in my life. I think of all the regret I could have avoided if only I had been trained in the way that I and my parents before me should have gone!
Before I go any further, I can imagine that you are reading my statements, thinking that I can never be sure that a different upbringing would have garnered different results. You are right. I cannot know what might have been. I do know, however, that had I had the chance, I could have leaned on God’s Word for the strength to carry me through certain situations. Hebrews 4:12 says “For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” The power of God’s Word could have kept me, where my own strength and my own flesh failed me time after time.
God’s Word is wisdom. It is a discerner of the intentions of every man’s heart. By filling my children’s minds and hearts with God’s Word every day, they have no choice but to remember what God’s Word says when decisions must be made. When I teach them that the Word says “Thou shalt not take the Name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh His Name in vain…” (Exodus 20:7), then they will think twice before they use His Name as a slang word or a swear word. The conviction that comes over them is so great that even when they hear someone else use the LORD’s Name in vain, they cringe. When I teach them that the Word says “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” (Exodus 20:16), they will feel guilty when they try to lie about anything. The conviction that they feels even gives them a burden for others who feel that they have to lie to others. The power of God’s Word is keeping them in a way that it did not keep me, because I did not have a steady diet of God’s Word as my daily routine during my developmental years.
I began this practice of teaching my children God’s Word as soon as I got them. I remember holding my firstborn in my arms during her first week of life, reading the scripture to her as she nursed. I remember sitting on the floor with her as a toddler, allowing her to rub her little hands over the onion-skin pages of my Bible, teaching her that the words underneath her hands were truth. I remember taking her to church each Sunday, Bible study during the week, and having daily times of prayer and study each day. The only times that we did not spend in the word together where times when we were physically apart.
My three youngest are in their early teens. They have had a steady diet of God’s Word since they were babies also. I am sometimes surprised at how much of God’s Word they can regurgitate when needed. That is all because of the power of God’s Word in their lives. I pray that they will always remember the times that we spent in God’s Word, and that they will spend that kind of time with their children also. There is no other way to obtain wisdom than to be in the Word daily.
Proverbs 3:7 says “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.” Verse 13 says “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.” Proverbs 4:5 says “Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not…” Verse 7 says “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” Wisdom is the important thing. Wisdom is the way I know I should have gone myself. Are you teaching your children to obtain wisdom?