Summary: This proverb is worthless to the millions of teens whose parents are not giving them guidance and instruction. The best thing the church can do for the home is to seek to make it what the Bible assumes it will be and that is a place of learning.
Every young person wants to be attractive. Teens suddenly discover
that they are drawn to each other because of their attractiveness, and they
want to be attractive themselves. It is then that the mirror, mirror on the
wall become the idol of them all. They become very sensitive about their
body, and if they are slow in development they worry about being
different. Teens don't want to be different. They all want to be beautiful
and handsome, and in every way attractive.
This is not only natural, but it is also wonderful. It can lead to vanity,
but it is also important for maturity. God loves beauty in the physical and
spiritual realm. He is the author of all the beauty in creation as well as the
beauty of holiness. Jesus was attractive in His humanity. He had all the
qualities of a man that every teen dreams of having. He was attractive to
men, women and children. He was powerful and yet gentle. He was
forceful and yet kind. He could melt hearts with His love, but also throw
fear into hearts with His anger.
Jesus, no doubt, took good care of His body, and was always pleasant
in appearance. This was not the essential ingredient of His attractiveness,
however, for He urged His followers not to be overly concern about the
external to the neglect of the internal. Solomon in all his glory was not so
beautiful as the lily, which does not work at being attractive at all. It just
grows according to its nature. Jesus said we too can become attractive on
the same principle. It can be a natural process if we do as He did and
taught. He said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness
and all these things shall be added unto you." The key factor in becoming
attractive with eternal beauty is obedience. Nature simply obeys the laws
of God for it, and it produces beauty.
You may be asking, what does this have to do with the text in Proverbs
where the theme is obedience to parents? What is the connection between
obedience to parents and obedience to God? The connection was one that
was important in the life of Jesus, and is important in the life of every
young person who desires to be all that God wants them to be. You recall
how Jesus remained in the temple when he was 12, and he caused quite a
scare on the part of Joseph and Mary. When they asked Him why He did
it He told them that He must be about His Father's business. But then
Luke tells us, "He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was
subject onto them." All we know about Jesus from age 12 to 30 is found in
that statement and one other. We only know that in those 18 years He was
obedient to His parents, and that He increased in wisdom and stature, and
in favor with God and man.
Jesus lived through His teens and 20's as a youth who was attractive.
He had favor with both God and man. He experienced what every teen
wants, and that is attractiveness and acceptance. All of this took place
after He said He must be about His Father's business, and I can't help but
see that the Scripture is making clear that learning to obey one's parents is
God's business. One can never be a mature servant of Christ until he
learns to obey authority, and even Jesus in His humanity needed to be
trained in obedience. This played a major role in His attractiveness as a
Young people seem to feel that rebellion is the real way to maturity.
To ignore authority and be indifferent to standards of morality is their
goal. They gain attention by this, but it is not lasting or satisfying as a
pattern of life. The only adequate pattern is that which Christ established.
Men through the centuries have demonstrated this by growing up with
respect for authority, and especially the authority of parents, which is
essential preparation for obedience to the authority of God.
Our goal as believers is obedience to God, but one of the basic means
to this end is obedience to parents. George F. Knight wrote, "The
responsibility of being a Christian is appalling. The Christian is called not
primarily to being good, nor to rejoice in a self-conscious faith, nor even to
a search for holy living. The ladder may even turn out to be the ultimate
form of selfishness. The Christian is called to obedience, utter obedience to
the voice of God. And it is as he obeys the voice that goodness, faith and
holiness come to him." That which made Christ attractive, and that which