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Monday, February 11, 2013

Parents: Build Your House Upon Wisdom!

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Proverbs 9:1-4a     Wisdom has built her house, She has hewn out her seven pillars; She has slaughtered her meat, She has mixed her wine, She has also furnished her table. She has sent out her maidens, She cries out from the highest places of the city, "Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!"

Today our little devo. is aimed not at youth, but at their parents.  This verse has really been on my heart as a parent lately, and I hope this message will help you as you seek to lead your children closer to the Lord.

We live in a very "loud" world.  From the moment we awaken, until we go to sleep at night we are bombarded by commercials, the news, music, billboards, and so on.  In this new culture of instant access, there seems to be no end to the noise, and with all that noise comes messages.  How are those messages affecting you, and more importantly, how are they affecting your children?

I have struggled with this dilemma in my own home.  I long for my children to fall head-over-heels in love with Jesus.  I desire for them to love the Lord above all other loves, and to seek His plans above any of their own, but, like you, I live a fast-paced life and often have a hard time looking beyond the moment.  When asking God about this, he gave me two thoughts. 

First of all, we need to recognize that the spiritual instruction of our children is our job.  It's not the job of the church, it's not the job of our extended family, the job was given by God to us.  Therefore, I must make time in the busy schedule to instruct my kids.  If it means we back off some extra curricular activities, or we let go of a hobby or two, so be it. 

Secondly, we must make our instruction purposeful and personal.  As in this verse, Wisdom takes time to prepare a lavish banquet of instruction.  She builds the house, she creates a rich setting for learning to take place.  She slaughters the meat (which means the meat had to be raised first), she mixes the wine, she sets the table, and she makes sure all the details are in place.

 In our own lives, this could involve creating a meaningful learning environment.  Maybe you need to shut down all electronics at a certain period of the day.  Maybe, to prove a special point, you could pick a different setting, such as a lake, or a picnic in the park.  It could also mean carefully selecting a passage of scripture, or a devotional series to complete as a family. Think about your particular children, what they struggle with, where they are in life, and allow this along with prayer, to guide your selection. If we want our children to feast on the truth, then careful thought should go into the time and location of the message, as well as the content of the lesson.

In addition, we should be presenting an example of faith in daily life.  We should allow our children to see us reading God's word.  They should hear us pray, over them and over others.  They should also be able to witness our faith during times of difficulty.  Then, as we live life together, we need to make teachable moments count.  Use a trip to the library or the grocery store as an opportunity to share the truth of God's word.   Recently, my son had an accident which landed us in the ER.  After all was made better again and the fear subsided, we discussed how God protected him, even through his accident.  We were reminded that God really is good, all the time.

Later in this proverb we hear the voice of foolishness and how she operates: 

A foolish woman is clamorous; She is simple, and knows nothing.  For she sits at the door of her house . . . to call to those who pass by, who go straight on their way:  "Whoever is simple, let him turn in here"; And as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, "Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant."  Proverbs 9:13-17 (NKJV) 

The devil is opportunistic, and he's extremely good at exploiting each opportunity.  He doesn't have to take time to prepare, because the message of sin is by nature enticing. 

We cannot assume that church or church related activity alone will build our children into followers of Christ.  As important as those activities are, they were designed to enhance what we do at home, not replace it.  God has promised to supply all our needs, and He will give us all the resources we need to lead our children.  All we must do is ask. 

I share this as a fellow struggler.  May this word lead us all to be stronger spiritual leaders to the flock in our own homes. 

God Bless.

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