The Olympic Games are always thrilling to see, as athletes perform at their top level, winning those coveted gold medals. Occasionally the “back stories” of athletes are featured on television broadcasts, sharing their personal challenges and physical discipline. Their perseverance is impressive as they push toward the gold.
In Proverbs 1:8, we see an indirect reference to gold-medal living for children.
“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction, and don’t reject your mother’s teaching, for they will be a garland of grace on your head and a gold chain around your neck.”
Garland and gold are for champions, and this Proverb indicates there is a disciplined, respectful path of life which a young man or woman may follow which will lead to future grace, favor, and reward. Scattered through the Old Testament, we find young people who lived out this kind of life–Joseph, Gideon, Ruth, David, Daniel and his friends, and Esther, to name a few. In the New Testament, we find Mary, John the disciple, and Timothy–all young people when we first meet them, youths who accepted instruction and, as a result, stood out for their character.
As you anticipate the 2020 Games, take a moment to share Proverbs 1:8 with your kids, instruct them wisely (James 1:5), and reward their obedience with your own form of garland and gold.