Summary: Parents are the youth’s best ally.

Every hiker must have a backup plan. Even if we are not planning to be lost, we must have a backup plan if ever we got lost. One of the ways is to leave our trip plan behind. According to the Hiker’s Responsibility Code, “You are responsible for yourself, so be prepared… To leave your plans. Tell someone where you are going, the trails you are hiking, when you will return and your emergency plans.” And if ever we change anything in our plan, we must make sure that we inform our contacts. If we fail to do so, if ever we really got lost, the search team may end up looking for us in all the wrong places. In short, we have to be accountable. To be accountable is to be answerable. Usually, we give an account to someone whom we consider our authority. Here, we see that our authority is our ally.

Now, we cringe at the “A” word. Authority. It seems to us that the words “authority” and “ally” can’t mix. These words are like oil and water. They can’t go together. Let me rephrase it. Your parents are your partners. You’re mind is now racing. “Parents? Partners? Authority? Ally? Are you serious? You’re kidding, right?” You heard it right. Your authority is your ally. Your parents are your partners.

Before you tune me out, please listen to me first. To some of you, your parents appear to be as smart as Homer Simpson. They just could not seem to get it. They just couldn’t seem to understand you. They are way, way behind as far as you are concerned. It took them some time to learn how to send text messages. They find it hard to figure out how to play with your PSP. When I played with my son’s PSP, I got so dizzy because of motion sickness. There are times we would rather listen to our friends than our parents. Our friends seem to understand us well. But it seems our parents can’t and won’t. I know what you are thinking. I used to think that way, too… until I became a parent myself. Now, I can say, I think of my parents differently. Let us read Proverbs 23:22-25. “Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding. The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him. May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice!”[1]

What does verse 23 mean? “Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.” If you have the money and you really want something, you would spend whatever is necessary to get it. You would get it at all cost. You guard it with your life. You don’t give it away that easily. They have to pry it from your dead, cold fingers. The Contemporary English Version goes like this: “Invest in truth and wisdom, discipline and good sense, and don’t part with them.” We are commanded to value wisdom above all. It’s an investment. “Wisdom is worth more than silver; it makes you much richer than gold. Wisdom is more valuable than precious jewels; nothing you want compares with her. …Wisdom makes life pleasant and leads us safely along. Wisdom is a life-giving tree, the source of happiness for all who hold on to her.”[2] Do you want to live a pleasant life? Do you want to live a happy life? Get wisdom. Proverbs 3:1-2 also tell us, “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.” Do you want to live a long life? Of course the prosperity here is different from the world’s standard of prosperity. But still, do you want to be prosperous?

Now, how do we get wisdom? Verse 22 tells us one of the ways to become wise. “Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.” In the Hebrew thinking, to listen is to obey. To despise is to disobey. When we obey our parents, we honor them. Proverbs 1:8 tell us, “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” Ideally, parents teach the Bible to their children. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 command parents, “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Your authority is your ally. Your parents are your partners.

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