I can see why the Godly couple I spoke of in my earlier post would choose to read a chapter of Proverbs every day. There is so much gold to be mined, so many pearls of wisdom to be applied. It’s going to be hard for me to pick up on just one thing every day without feeling guilt for all the other brilliant teaching I’m going to be leaving behind.
(Perhaps I could encourage you to be reading Proverbs for yourself so you can see what I mean!)
Take chapter 1 for instance. Perhaps the most famous verse in the whole of Proverbs is 1:7 –
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction (NIV11).
And while there’s lots that I could say about this verse and how helpful it is as a framework for approaching God (when understood correctly), this isn’t the verse I want to focus on today.
Today, what jumped out at me was the passage written in the form of a warning from a father to his son –
My son, if sinful men entice you,
do not give in to them (Proverbs 1:10, NIV11).
Later, in 1 Corinthians, Paul makes a similar warning about the power of foolish friends –
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:11, NIV11).
It’s a frightful warning. It strikes me hard as a parent. I want nothing more for my children to grow up to know Jesus as their saviour and to live with him as their King. It’s my prayer, my longing, my deepest desire for them beyond what grades they get at school, or what career they choose – (the eldest one has already made up his mind on that front. He’s decided he wants to “go to work with daddy”, and that on his first day, they’ll have to drive together because he doesn’t know the way to daddy’s workplace yet!).
I can pray for them. I can teach them God’s word. I can try my best to model what it looks like to follow Jesus. But there’s so much I can’t control.
Friendship and can have so much power, can exert so much influence.
But God’s spirit is even more powerful.
And so I will continue to pray, to teach the word, to try my best to model faithful obedience to Christ.
And now I’m going to start praying for my children’s friends, too.