Sermons

Summary: God wants to raise you up, to educate you and train you in His wisdom. He use a home and earthly fathers and mothers as His schools and teachers. Those that graduate from God's School of Wisdom receive its watch-care and honor.

PROVERBS 4: 1-9

THE INSTRUCTIONS OF A FATHER or Finding God's Direction

[2 Timothy 3:14 / 1 Kings 3:5-14]

We all need a relationship with our father. A little boy sat frustrated and near tears. He was trying to build a toy wagon but he just couldn't get the wheels to go on. His dad came along, took the wagon and the four wheels and, in no time at all, had it rolling smoothly along. The boy was grateful for the loving and helpful touch his father added to his life. Though he is no longer a child, he still remembers his father's help that day.

It has been said that any kind of man can be a father but that it takes a special kind of man to be a Dad! The ideal father does more than simply have a part in the procreation of the child, he helps to mold the child throughout his growing years through generous amounts of love, guidance, correction, forgiveness and praise. Fortunate are those who have had more than a biological father, who had a father with whom they had such a personal relationship.

Whether or not this has been the case for you, this much is for certain: we can all experience the ultimate father-child relationship when we experience God as our Heavenly Father. Yet God wants to be more than just a biological Father. He wants to raise you up, to educate you and train you in His wisdom. He use a home and earthly fathers and mothers as His schools and teachers.

Those that graduate from God's School of Wisdom receive its watch-care and honor (CIM). Wisdom is not a natural acquision, it must be learned precept by precept. It takes commitment to either teach or learn wisdom because it is found through rigorous pursuit.

Parents must have this commitment to transfer wisdom to their children. One of the greatest responsibilities of parenting is to encourage your children to pursue wisdom and instruct your children in wisdom in a world prone to folly. Therefore parents must have a commitment to encourage and instruct their children in wisdom. Solomon uses his childhood as an example of the importance of introducing wisdom to children. God has a specific plan designed for each child. To find and follow this plan children must acquire and apply godly wisdom.

I. Listen & Lay Hold, 1-4.

II. Acquire Wisdom & Understanding, 5-7.

III. Wisdom Exalts & Honors, 8-9.

Verse 1 calls on sons to gain insight from the instruction of their fathers. "Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, And give attention that you may gain (know) understanding.

The appeal to acquire wisdom should come from "a father." Even a teacher of wisdom needs to manifest fatherly love toward his children, toward those who heed his instruction so that He might direct them as a father does his child. The design and aim of a father's instruction is that his son might wake up and get to know understanding.

Parents need to teach their young children good listening habits. Children able to practice purposeful listening have a distinct advantage when starting school where the day is filled with need for this skill. Start teaching them listening skills. Give them instructions and increase their complexity and see how your child follows through. "Please go to your room, put on your pajamas and slippers, put your dirty cloths in the hamper, brush your teeth and bring one of your favorite storybook to Daddy."

Once a child learns to give attention they can gain understanding. What's true for children is no less true for adults. We must give attention if we are to gain understanding.

But what should we give attention to? Verse 2 says that we must pay attention to our father's sound teaching. "For I give you sound teaching; Do not abandon my instruction.

Now there are teachings that should not be listened to. There are many evil, deceitful, and careless teachings and teachers in the world. A father's teaching his children should not be that way, but they should be sound teachings. Far too many children today receive no sound teaching because either they have no father or their father is too busy or disinterested.

It is vital that children have fathers. In 1988 NewsWeek reported that there were 5.6 million children in America under 15 growing up without fathers. Divorce, no matter how amicable, leaves children without fatherly instruction. Two years later the average divorced dad has little or no contact with his children. It's staggering to think that three-fourths of all children of divorce have contact with their fathers fewer than two days a month. The 5-6 million fatherless children doid not include those whose fathers are emotional or mentally absent from their homes and children.

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