Summary: Sermon Series by Dr. Tim Pollock on Parenting
There are hundreds of parenting principles in the Bible, but in one book there is a treasure trove of information –Proverbs. You may have to dig a little bit for the choicest ore, but you will come away a zillionaire! The book of Proverbs is such an incredible book. I am often moved and motivated by it. It’s amazing to me how often the principles come to mind throughout the day. Proverbs talks about money, discerning people, education, happiness and parenting and more. This deceived lady who spent thousands to go to India, and wherever else to find the meaning of life, and ends up writing the bestseller, Eat, Pray, Love, could have just sat in her living room and read the blessed Word of God and got far more!
According to Solomon, a wise, loving and Biblical parent will try to stay on top of things. They will do what they can to make sure that the personal, public, educational, spiritual and physical lives of their sons and daughters are all intact. A wise parent will give boundaries, suggestions and will provide and protect in every area of their lives.
Let’s break our verse up so we can get a good understanding. First, notice that it states “she.” I think we can all agree that what is true for a mom is true for a father. Second, he or she has to “look.” You might ask, “Does this mean that we should spy on our children?” No, I don’t think spying is good, but I do think that every parent needs to have ears and eyes that are open. I don’t think that anybody is any better at that than mom. She can be cooking, talking on the phone and all the while her other ear is like a radar dish. She is listening to what’s going on or not going on. Third, it says she looks “well,” that is, she makes a concerted effort to look after them. There’s only so much that a parent can do, but she is on top of things. Parents, let me encourage you not to stick your head in the sand. Every person (kids included), are like the moon, they have a dark side that nobody ever sees. Be open about issues. Fourthly, what should parents look for? Solomon said, the “ways” of their child or youth. What are their ways? It is how they are doing in their life physically, morally, emotionally and mentally. It also says she’s looking well to the ways of her household, not poking about everybody else’s business. She is not spending all of her time on Facebook nosing around. This mother and father knew how to honor parameters in relationships, but she also knows that this is her household and is serious about this God-given responsibility.
4 Ways to Pay Attention to Sons and Daughters Ways:
1. Parents Must Realize They Don’t Get What They Expect but What They Inspect
An important leadership point for me over the years has been to look into what’s going on in the lives of those I have jurisdiction over. A teen son may say to Dad, “Don’t you trust me?” The answer? Unfortunately, after all these years of experience in the world, I “trust” that the devil and his ways will create problems. Paul said we are not ignorant to his devices (2 Corinthians 2:11). Like the honest lyrics found in the Hymn, Come Thou Fount, “...prone to wander, Lord I feel it...”
There is a strange humanistic rationale behind the popular statement, “laws make people into criminals.” Certainly, boundaries ought to be wise and practical. However, the idea of changing the rules because sin is inevitable, is a flawed concept. It leads to the terrible abuses we’ve seen in America today. People lobby, “If we don’t legalize marijuana, we’re just going to make criminals out of everybody.” What an incredibly foolish concept! The “no restraints, no boundaries” lifestyle is a disaster waiting to happen. In the book of Romans we are told that God gave government the responsibility to put moral boundaries on its people to keep them from destroying themselves and others. Scripture has hundreds of moral boundaries included in it. It is not the laws that are the problem, it is the sin nature of mankind.
Not having restraints on children is about as smart as riding a horse without reins. Can you imagine how smart that would be? Do you trust your horse not to run you off a cliff? I can remember going horseback riding many years ago. I was a junior age kid, maybe 4th or 5th grade, and I was mounted on a giant horse (or so it seemed). As we left the stables, the horse was walking really slowly with her head down. I felt like my horse was depressed or something! There I was just plodding along, until at a certain point in the trail the horse could catch a glance back at the stable. The minute that horse looked back to the stable, it would turn around and start galloping back. He just took off-whoa nelly! That horse needed some reigns.