Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck. Proverbs 1:8-9
Proverbs 1 introduces the vast collection of King Solomon’s wise sayings with a five-verse purpose statement. They are for growth, insight, character-building, shrewdness vs. naivete, and mature & deep thinking. The Proverbs were written for parenting! Urging his own son to accept his mother’s and father’s instructions in verse 8, Solomon indicates victorious results in verse 9, “they will be a garland of grace on your head and a gold chain around your neck.” Garland and gold are for champions, and we know that champions are not born overnight! Look inside the word instruction and you will discover the Latin word struct, meaning “to build”. As you fairly and consistently teach your sons and daughters and they follow your guidance, a structure is being built inside them for wise living. The foundation for this structure is given in 1:7. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction. Reverent fear of God and His supreme power and might is the starting point for wise living. As parents, we are to model this reverence for God before our children. Also note that 1:3 refers to acquiring the godly character traits of righteousness, justice, and fairness—affirming that there are absolutes in God’s moral law which our kids need to be taught. Train your unique children to accept instruction and watch them rise to become champions!
For help in teaching these champion-building principles to your kids, try the ideas in my book Proverbial Kids® Lesson Plans for Parents. Print out Dexter’s Do-It-Yourself Disaster from the PK Short Stories page, and let your children draw this story themselves as they learn the importance of accepting instruction. Or, use my book Little Jimmy and the Spoiled Rotten Banana to illustrate spoiled behavior to your children, as Jimmy’s bad behavior prompts his parents to seek parenting wisdom from Proverbs.