Daily Proverb vitamin: Proverbs 17

Have you made any goals for your family lately? Do your goals include keeping up with your busy schedule, planning vacations, Christmas lists or fixing up the house?

Don’t lose sight of the most priceless goals for your family.  These may include a peaceful home, laughter and understanding.  Consider today’s Proverb:

“Better is a dry morsel with quiet

than a house full of feasting with strife”  Proverbs 17:1

What are you willing to do to create invaluable qualities in your family life this week?

 

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Protection for the teen mind

Have you been lying sleepless in your bed of late? Do pictures flash in your mind of your teenager racing his car in the streets or your daughter abusing alcohol and getting in sexual dilemmas at the parties she attends? We hold our breath and pray our children will survive the teen and young adult years. There are so many distractions for a young driver these days, they don’t have to be racing to be in danger. The “what if’s” are enough to make us crazy.

Dr. Daniel G. Amen offers validity to these fears in his book, “Magnificent Mind at Any Age”:

“Teens do best when their parents know where they are, who they are with, and what they are doing. Teens do best when they know their parents check on them. You need to be your teen’s prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain that provides supervision, judgment, and impulse control), until they can properly monitor themselves. The prefrontal cortex does not fully develop until we are twenty-five years old, so even supervising young adults is appropriate.”

A parent’s job is not complete when their children are able to take the keys and live more independently. We get confused about our parenting role in this American culture. So, what can we do? Do we follow our children everywhere; hiding behind trees and trucks to spy on their every move? Do we attach a GPS to their cell phones?

Active parenting includes asking questions, checking out our teen’s plans, and supervising certain situations. But, we must also learn to give our teens growing independence and practical tools to make their own healthy, godly choices. If we are the ones making all the decisions for them and shielding them from life’s experiences, they will never learn from mistakes and struggles. But where do we begin?

A parent’s wise Christ-centered instruction helps to grow children spiritually, emotionally, physically and intellectually. The instruction is deliberate. In Proverbs we read about the father teaching his son to get wisdom and instructing him not to forget it. He instructs his son not to turn away from his father’s words, but accept them fully. What are the results for the children who have been instructed and have chosen to honor their parents’ words? Wisdom will guard them and keep them from stumbling. Now that’s what a teen’s mind needs!

Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight
Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live.
Get wisdom; get insight;
do not forget, and do not turn away
from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;
love her, and she will guard you.
Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many.
I have taught you the way of wisdom;
I have led you in the paths of uprightness.
When you walk, your step will not be hampered,
and if you run, you will not stumble.
Keep hold of instruction; do not let go;
guard her, for she is your life.

Proverbs 4:1,5-6,10-13

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The pursuit of wisdom

What thoughts are occupying your mind today?  Are you weary from strained relationships, discouraged by an unfulfilling job, or distracted by the desire for material things that leave you empty but wanting more?  If you are going to allow any pursuit to occupy your mind, then allow it to be wisdom.

Can you hear the voice of Wisdom calling you?  Yes, wisdom is pursuing you, inviting you to, “Listen, for I shall speak noble things; and the opening of my lips will produce right things.” (Proverbs 8:6).

The collective knowledge of our years and the volumes of resources at our fingertips are a mere drop in the bucket when compared to the wisdom of ages:

“The Lord possessed me (wisdom) at the beginning of His way, before His works of old. From everlasting I was established, from the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth. When He set for the sea its boundary, So that the water should not transgress His command, When He marked out the foundations of the earth; then I was beside Him, as a master workman; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him, rejoicing in the world, His earth, and having my delight in the sons of men” (8:22-31).

This very wisdom, possessed and established from the Lord of all ages calls out to you, “Forsake your folly and live, and proceed in the way of understanding”. (9:6).

How to find wisdom

Much like a toddler who plays hide and seek and tells you, “I’m behind the living room curtain”, wisdom tells you where to find it.  Wisdom wants to be found, and much like any relationship that works, you must do your part in pursuing it.

Proverbs 8 tells us how to find wisdom and keep it: Listen to wisdom, take my instruction, fear the Lord, love wisdom, diligently seek wisdom, heed instruction, do not neglect it, daily watch and wait for wisdom.

Now look back at its instructions and let your thoughts be flooded by your response to wisdom’s call.  This pursuit includes silence and listening, waiting on God, searching in the Scriptures, and obeying.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (9:10)

The promises of wisdom

How rich is it that our God provides promises for us as we line our lives up with His will?

Drink in some of the promises in Proverbs 8 for those who diligently seek His wisdom:  you will gain understanding, wisdom will speak noble things, produce right things, and utter truth to you.

Are you plagued by a decision to make or what to do about a relationship?  Righteousness is in wisdom, its words are straightforward, it offers you knowledge and discretion, gives counsel, sound wisdom and understanding.

Do you wonder what to pray for government?  Are you in a position of leadership?  Rulers will decree justice and judge rightly if they will pursue the wisdom of God.

Wisdom’s promises are personal and generous.  If you diligently seek it, you are promised to find it.  As you choose to keep (live) wisdom’s ways, you will be blessed.

There is no comparison

What will benefit your life more today; dwelling on the knowledge and pursuits of man or diligently seeking wisdom?  Wisdom does not compare to silver or the choicest gold, it is better than jewels, “all desirable things cannot compare with her” (8:10-11) .

 “He who finds me (wisdom) finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord.

But he who sins against me injures himself; all those who hate me love death” 8:35,36

Acknowledgements:  Scriptures from this post are quoted from the NASB.

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