If you’ve spent any time at all with the Scriptures, you know that Proverbs is full of practical wisdom. It’s loaded with precepts that we can apply to guide our speech, our thought life, and our behavior. Proverbs guides us to what we should pursue…and what we shouldn’t. It can be a great place to take our kids to in the Bible when we want them to see with crystal clarity what God says about an issue, and the principles found there also govern what we might otherwise see as “grey areas”.
Parents, I’d like to alert you to a really great resource that points to helpful Proverbs that speak directly to things that our children (and we, for that matter) commonly struggle with. Proverbs for Parenting is an excellent topical guide to Proverbs. On the recommendation of a friend, we began using Proverbs for Parenting several years ago in our home, and it remains a valuable resource. The book is divided into eight parts: Reverence for God, Wisdom and Instruction, Self-Control, Control of the Mouth, Relationships, Wrong Doings, Godly Characteristics, and Prosperity. Each of those parts highlights different specific areas of challenge. The book points to Proverbs to help with things like tattling, getting along with others, honesty, discretion, sleeping and rising, temper, knowledge, and wisdom.
We use Proverbs for Parenting NOT as a means of telling our children all the things God prohibits. Rather, most of the time we use the book to find a verse that will be helpful in a specific area of current struggle for our child. Then, because Proverbs so often contrasts warning with blessing, we open our Bible and share both. We share the verse with our child, often turning it into a family memory verse for the week or month, and we implore toward God-honoring behavior based on the fact that we want wonderful blessings for our kids, and their current choices will never garner blessing or joy. Yes, we want our kids to understand what God says about a certain choice they’re making. However, it’s so critical that we also impart to them that God says what He says for our good and theirs…that joy can be found in obedience even when it’s hard.
Here’s a not-so-secret help, as well, dear parents: we’ve used it when we’ve struggled with things as well, and we’ve used it when preparing to counsel others. Proverbs for Parenting…yes, it certainly is. But it’s also a great tool for all kinds of other areas of life as well. I hope you’ll consider picking up a copy for your family.