Proverbs 1:8 – “My son, hear the instruction [correction; chastening; rebuke] of thy father, and forsake not the law [teachings; direction] of thy mother:”
A spirit of rebellion and spiritual complacency has pervaded the traditional family structure in America and the spiritual morass of ambivalence is seeded within the church and Christian homes. The 1960’s “free love” generation has become grandparents and are facing the reality of adult children and grandchildren void of moral values and bearings. I am afraid it is inevitable that my generation, known as the “Baby Boomer” generation, will reap the heartache of abandonment in our old age and the sorrow of observing our grandchildren grow up in a society that has no concept of Christian values or virtues.
Character, discipline, responsibility and integrity are qualities that are taught! Parents are the primary teachers for guiding, modeling and imparting to children a foundation of moral values and godly character. Children have the responsibility to hear and heed their parent’s instructions, but pity the child who lacks a father’s authority and a mother’s loving instruction.
Proverbs 1:8-9 stresses parental roles and the spiritual benefit to a child when a father and mother dedicate themselves to their God-given responsibilities.
Proverbs 1:8 defines the spiritual parenting roles of the father and mother. The father’s role is that of the instructor and disciplinarian (Deuteronomy 6:4-7). Sadly, there has been a societal assault on the male role model in our society and, in my opinion, an effort to feminize the father’s role rather than see it as both a compliment to and distinctive from that of the mother.
Allow me to amplify that thought by drawing your attention to the “law of thy mother” stated in Proverbs 1:8b. The role of the mother is as the compassionate instructor. In Proverbs 31, the mother’s role is portrayed as one who “openeth her mouth with wisdom: and in her tongue is the law of kindness” (Proverbs 31:26). While the father is the disciplinarian who corrects and rebukes, the mother is the compassionate teacher imparting godly wisdom (1:8b). The biblical role of father and mother in concert strike an essential balance for teaching and training their children.
Having stated parental responsibilities, let us also note the responsibility of sons and daughters. Solomon challenged his son to “hear the instruction of thy father”—listen, heed and obey. Of the mother’s “law”—the child is to never forsake her teaching and direction.
Proverbs 1:9 emphasize the value and benefit of parental instruction.
Proverbs 1:9 – “For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.”
“They” refers to the “instructions of thy father…law of thy mother” (1:8). A father’s instruction and a mother’s law are a gift of God’s grace to the child blessed to have both. Like a wreath of garland about the head of a victorious runner or a gold medallion hanging about the neck of an Olympic champion—a child who hears and heeds his parent’s instruction will be rewarded!
Mom and dad, don’t be weary about the task of parenting, your reward is not immediate. Your son or daughter does not have the maturity to appreciate the responsibility you have for instilling in them the teaching and discipline of godly character. If they will obey, they will one day reflect on the privilege they had to have parents who viewed their role as a divine calling.
Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith