My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
Great parents work together to teach their children rules for safe and successful lives. Great children remember what their parents taught them and do it. God gave parents distinct advantages over children – experience, wisdom, a long-term perspective, great affection for them, and objective knowledge of their children’s weaknesses. The first step to success and prosperity is to obey your parents’ instruction. Simple? Yes. Easy? No.
Reader, how much pain and trouble could you have avoided, if you had obeyed your parents better? No matter how foolish your parents might have been, they were infinitely wiser than you when God introduced you to them at conception and birth (Pr 22:15). However, the proverb speaks primarily of wise and understanding parents, which are a wonderful advantage for children, if they will humbly hear their instruction and keep it.
Obeying parents is ridiculed in most circles today. Parents are mocked as being ignorant, out of touch with reality, too selfish or conservative, not understanding how attitudes and conduct have changed, intent only on depriving children of opportunities and pleasure, and so forth and so on. Because of this it is only the rare child that can reject peer pressure and this wicked outlook to humbly consider his parents’ rules and obey them.
Solomon was ready to warn his son again about whores (Pr 6:23-35). To maximize the seriousness of these sexual warnings, he exhorted his son to remember the careful instruction he had received from both parents. They had taught him the moral absolutes God ordained for the human race, and they exhorted him to keep them continually, for they would provide great protection and prosperity throughout his life (Pr 6:21-23).
Child, are you as wise as Solomon hoped his son would be? Do you keep your father’s commandment? Do you obey the law of your mother? God created parents (Gen 3:20; 4:1), and He ordered you to obey them (Ex 20:12; Eph 6:1-3). They know one thousand times more about life, including love and sex, than you. Talk to them. Confess your sins to them. Admit your fears and temptations. Ask for advice and help. Obey their rules.
Optimal parenting requires both fathers and mothers. The father is the primary teacher of spiritual truth in the family, as great fathers in the Bible illustrate (Gen 18:19; Josh 24:15; Ps 34:11; Is 38:19), and as both testaments teach (Ps 78:1-8; Joel 1:1-3; Eph 6:4). However, the mother also has her role, as Solomon knew so well (Pr 1:8; 31:1-2), and as mothers like Hannah and Eunice show (I Sam 1:28; II Tim 1:5; 3:15).
Parent, have you taught your children about life and the right way of the Lord? Or do you merely send them off to school Monday through Friday and to Sunday school on Sunday? Do you teach them strict moral absolutes against the situational ethics of society? Have you taught them wisdom for applying moral absolutes to unique circumstances? Do they know God’s laws about sex? Training children is not an option. It is a commandment of God (Gen 18:19; Deut 6:4-7; Ps 78:1-8; Eph 6:4). Get to it today (Pr 19:18; 29:15)!
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