Summary: Proverbs is a tool for building wisdom in family and among friends. What a great book of choices!
Do any of you dads here feel like you should have a heart to heart talk with your sons or daughters? (Raise your hands).
I wonder how many of us dads here today feel very confident in this area. How many dads would like a good tool to help with this?
Many men are just not big on deep conversation. Oh, we can talk about sports, work, entertainment, news or politics, but love, God and feelings are a bit tougher for some of us. Some subjects we avoid altogether.
I heard about a man whose wife was becoming more and more depressed so he took her to a counselor. After a few minutes the counselor said, “I think I know what is wrong here and what to do about it.” “Great!” said the husband, “What is it?” The counselor stepped over to the wife and gave her a big hug. At first she tensed up, but then she relaxed and smiled and even hugged him back. Then the counselor said, “See, all she needs is some of these and good caring conversation on a regular basis.” The husband said, “Fine, I can bring her here on Tuesdays and Fridays.”
Sometimes we’d like it if someone else could convince our kids of what they need to know so we bring them to Church on Sundays and Wednesdays. But I have some news for you. God gave this job to you.
Men who have very little caring conversation with their wives will probably have little caring conversation with their kids. And vise versa.
This weeks readings were mostly from Proverbs. Here is God’s book of wisdom for family and friends that can build great heart to heart conversation and in depth discussion if we us it together. We just need to gather the family together, turn off the TV and video games and set the clock for 20 minutes for Bible reading, and sharing. For some, at first, it will be the longest 20 minutes of the day. But after it becomes habit an hour will pass and you’ll just be warming up.
Let’s look at today’s scripture reading and text for the lesson: Proverbs 2:1-8
I’d like to stress the points, so I’m putting words in there that are not in the text, but are understood.
There are three sections: the choice, the consequence, and the cause. Each section is led by a different lead off. The choice is led by the words: “If you... The consequence begins with: “then....” The cause begins: “For the Lord…”
2:1 My son, IF YOU receive my words, And IF YOU treasure my commands within you,
2 IF YOU incline your ear to wisdom, And IF YOU apply your heart to understanding;
3 Yes, IF YOU cry out for discernment, And IF YOU lift up your voice for understanding,
4 IF YOU seek her as silver, And IF YOU search for her as for hidden treasures;
5 THEN you will understand the fear of the LORD, And find the knowledge of God.
6 FOR THE LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
7 FOR THE LORD stores up sound wisdom for the upright; FOR THE LORD is a shield to those who walk uprightly;
8 FOR THE LORD guards the paths of justice, FOR THE LORD preserves the way of His saints.
We tend to like to shorten things, boil them down. Give it to me as a sound bite. If fact, we boil some things down so much all we have left is the stain in the cup. Summing up can also shallow up the information.
This passage could just say: If you go for wisdom, you’ll find God, and he’ll bless you.
Now that’s what this says, it’s true, but it says more.
Men, how many of us want our wives to hurry up and get to the point when they tell us about their day? We do things like sigh, twirl our finger in the air, or rock back and forth to get her to just SAY IT. We want a sound bite not a book, right?
Proverbs doesn’t rush it. The father here repeats himself over and over driving home the point like a hammer hitting a nail stroke after stroke. Also, if you paid attention, you’ll notice the intensifying aspect of the first part. He moves from listening to applying, to crying out for, to searching. The depth here is like a ladder with lots of rungs taking you higher and higher. It’s a long way, but the view at the top is worth it.
Look again at where he begins. Where do you begin a conversation with your children? How do you start? “My son, if you…” The Proverb writer talks about his sons decisions and where they lead. That’s a good place for us to begin a conversation with our children.