As parents, it can feel as if the list of what we need to teach our children can be long and arduous. This perhaps became even more apparent this Spring when parents were suddenly thrown into teaching their children at home with little to no preparation. It falls on our shoulders to consider our children’s spiritual, mental, emotional, social, and physical development. It is our responsibility to train them in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6) in each of those areas.
If you have more than one child you know each one of them is a unique individual with their own bent and personality making it even more of a necessity to study and then instruct them as a distinct person. Unfortunately, it is quite common to be reminded by well-meaning others that children do not come with instruction manuals. As Christian parents, where do we turn so that we train up our children to be determined like Daniel (Daniel 1:8)? How do we teach our children to choose to endure adversity with the people of God like Moses in lieu of the passing pleasures of sin (Hebrews 11:25)? Who do we listen to so that we raise children like Esther who placed more value on the life of God’s people than her own (Esther 4:16)? What is a parent to do? There is no lack of books written on the raising of children but more and more I am realizing that God has given us His Word and His Spirit to lead us as we lead our children.
One verse that I have laid up in my heart and soul to guide me in my parenting is Luke 2:52.
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”Luke 2:52
What a verse! I realized a few years ago that I would love for this to be true of my children! I broke the verse down and began studying what God’s word had to say. Here are some truths God showed me.
We must instruct our children to get wisdom! Get understanding! We must tell them that wisdom is the principal thing (Proverbs 4:7)! I have been known to yell this as a reminder to my two oldest as they drive off for the day.
The Lord gives wisdom (Proverbs 2:6). We get wisdom from Him and pass it along to our children. We must give them good doctrine (Proverbs 4:2).
We are to teach them in the way of wisdom, lead them in the right paths (Proverbs 4:11).
We should read the stories of the great men and women of faith from Genesis to Revelation and encourage our children to emulate them.
Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon are known as the wisdom literature of the Bible. We can focus specifically on educating our children with these books to impart wisdom. An easy way to start is to read a Proverb a day. You can ask your child what verse in that day’s chapter spoke to them the most and why.
Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” Teaching our children to choose the fear of the LORD (Proverbs 1:29) and to hate evil (Proverbs 8:13) like Job was known for doing (Job 1:1) is of first and foremost importance. What does God love? What does God hate? These are questions you can search out and explore in God’s Word with your children.
Why focus on wisdom? We are told in Proverbs 3:13… happy is the man who finds wisdom. I am sure you have heard parents say they “just want their kids to be happy.” It should not surprise us that God’s word tells us how our children can be truly happy! We want our children to be satisfied and to live an abundant life… the fear of the LORD leads them there (Proverbs 19:23).
If we incline our ears to wisdom, apply our heart to understanding, cry out for discernment, lift up our voice for understanding, seek for wisdom as for silver, and search for knowledge as for hidden treasures (sound like geocaching anyone?) Then we will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God (Proverbs 2:2-5). Why is fearing the LORD important? Why should we teach this? Because “the fear of the LORD prolongs days” (Proverbs 10:27). I am certain every mother reading this wants their children to live out all the days ordained for them!
As we lay out expectations for our children and enforce them, we are training them in the spiritual truth of fearing the Lord. They are learning to fear negative consequences and learning to fear displeasing their authority. Children learn to honor God when they are taught to honor their father and mother. We must teach our children diligently (Deuteronomy 6:7) to LOVE God, to seek first His kingdom by seeking for the wisdom from above and fearing the LORD.
I will continue from my study of Luke 2:52 in a later post.