Summary: Although we cannot offer a fool-proof plan that is guaranteed to work, we can look at some proverbs that will help us be more likely to be on the winning side of life’s biggest issues. But we must be willing to surrender our sacred cows.
Giant Issues in Life
(Proverbs 22:6, 15, 7,9)
1. Upon waking, a woman said to her husband, "I just dreamt that you gave me a necklace of pearls. What do you think it means?"
The man smiled and kissed his wife. "You'll know tonight," he softly whispered.
That evening, the man came home with a small package which he gave to his wife. She jumped up and embraced him, and then settled on the couch to slowly and delicately unwrap the package.
It contained a book entitled, 'The Meaning of Dreams'. [psychologytoday.com]
2. We all have dreams, aspirations for ourselves and our children, if we are blessed with children.
3. Some of our dreams can be as simple as “getting and staying out of debt.” Others are as simple as “my kids turning out well.” These are some big issues in many lives!
Main Idea: Although we cannot offer a fool-proof plan that is guaranteed to work, we can look at some proverbs that will help us be more likely to be on the winning side of life’s biggest issues. But we must be willing to surrender our sacred cows.
I. The Sacred Cow of TRAINING Our Children — in Godliness or the Way We Were Raised? (6, 15)
We were raised in a different America than we have today. God’s principles of child-rearing are appropriate in any culture and may differ from how we were reared.
A. Spiritual and moral EDUCATION
1. Education without godliness may aid and abet the wrong side
2. Preparation for living as a Christian should
3. Knowing what a Christian should know (Deuteronomy 6)
4. Not just learning principles, but seeing them lived out
• Honesty and transparency are important…
Many “Christian brats” have a childhood frustration they are trying to correct by going to the opposite extreme. Instead of moving toward the center, they over-react; the rest of us are their therapy but sometimes their victims.
5. A combination of family time and church time
6. All kids should be familiar with the Bible, know order of the Books of the Bible, God’s plan of salvation, know 10 commandments, John 3:16, Persons of Trinity, Lord’s Prayer, God’s plan for the family and sex, be trained to attend church every Sunday, how to have devotions, & a Christian worldview.
B. The way he SHOULD go
1. Not the same as the way he would go
2. Generally, the common way all godly people should travel
3. Specifically, the personal way God wants him to develop
• How many dads try to make their non-athletic sons into vicarious athletes?
• Not everyone is meant to go to college (trade school)
• We naturally have agendas to make our children into our image
• We can train our kids, but we cannot engineer them; micromanaging backfires; they need room to fail, to find out who they are, time to waste
4. The body life concept begins with children
C. This is a proverb, not a PROMISE
• We cannot program and eliminate human choice
• Can only give our children tools and know how
• Me, 1st Vasicek man in centuries who cannot sew; my dad and his brothers had the tools, but chose other vocations
D. The likely result: continuing or RETURNING
1. Pepe Alicea continued
2. Franklin Graham returned
3. We live in an age of apostasy… still, some may come back around
E. Wisdom is not innate; FOOLISHNESS is (15)
• Children may be born cute, but not born wise; Steve Shepherd shares: “his young nephew, Timmy, help[ed] them bake the cupcakes. After they were done, his sister-in-law allowed Timmy to put the icing on the cupcakes. When he had finished, he brought them to the table.
"The cupcakes look delicious, Tim,” his uncle said… As he finished one and took another he again complimented his little nephew…"How did you get them iced so evenly?"
… His nephew replied, "I licked them." [sermon central]
1. Modern parents believe their kid’s opinions are as valid as theirs
2. Although children may model trust/dependence, they do not model wisdom
3. We begin life foolish, naïve, gullible; training has wisdom as its goal
4. Part of that includes discipline; self-disciplined people think of long-term consequences and require less discipline…
5. Parents should be comfortable correcting their children in moderate ways…
6. Avoiding correction is hurting your children, allowing their inborn foolishness to go unchecked and entrenched.
Application: Your children are not pets to make you happy, but they are human beings entrusted by God for you to provide for, protect, and train.
II. The Sacred Cow of SPENDING: Considering the Slavery of DEBT (7,9)
A. Being in debt means losing FREEDOM
B. Being in debt makes the debtor a SLAVE
C. It is not a SIN to borrow money, but it can be unwise