People good with their money will usually take some of their money and invest it in safe investments to earn some interest on their money. They may buy land or stocks. Of course as many of us have seen over the last few years some of the things we thought were safe and sound investments have turned in to major losses. There is something else we can invest in that is even more important. As good parents we should be investing in our children emotionally, physically and spiritually. We should be spending time with them physically. We should be encouraging them emotionally and teaching them spiritually. The Bible takes this investing a step further. Read Proverbs 13:22:
A good man leaves an inheritance to his grandchildren, but the sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.
All of us love our kids, even when they drive us nuts. So why not after we have spent years investing in them to help them have a good life as they grow up shouldn’t we be leaving them an inheritance to remember us by and help them out in the future when we are gone? It just makes good common sense that when you love someone that you would want to help them in any way you can. It’s interesting to note that this scripture makes the point leaving an inheritance helps to define us as a good parent or grandparent. This inheritance can be in a variety of forms. Maybe it is the obvious, money. Maybe it is some land. Maybe it is some prized possession or family heirlooms. Maybe it is book that you have written full of the wisdom you learned living your life. Maybe it is family history outline and photographs. Even these sentimental things are a wonderful inheritance. Not everyone has money that they can leave behind. Things happen in life to destroy excess money. However, we can leave something special to our children and grandchildren that will either help them in life physically, emotionally or spiritually. The important thing is that they see through this inheritance gift your love and a reminder of what you were to them in their lives. So start now thinking about how you can invest in your children and grandchildren after you are gone with an inheritance you have left for them.
I am so amazed when I watch TV these days. I see commercials and public service announcements that contain instructions to parents on how to be parents. It is almost like the parents of today have never learned how to be a parent. The movement in society to let kids have more freedom and not to discipline has helped to lead to parents not paying attention to their kids. There has been far too much concern with damaging the children’s egos or self-esteem levels. Teaching a child and giving them boundaries or rules can only help them. Instructing a child will give them wisdom that will protect them throughout life in a multitude of ways. God makes it clear in multiple places in the Bible that he expects parents to instruct their children and to instruct them in the ways of God. God also expects children to listen and obey their parents. Of course, no child will do that naturally, just like we don’t naturally with ease listen to and obey God. So it is up to parents to teach children that they need to listen and obey for their own good. It won’t be easy. It will be difficult at times emotionally, but it will be worth it in the end. The children will grow up wiser and godlier as a result of our efforts as parents. Here are just two verses that teach us God’s expectations for parents and children.
Ephesians 6:4 – And fathers, don’t stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Proverbs 13:1 – A wise son [hears his] father’s instruction, but a mocker doesn’t listen to rebuke.
We have to remember as parents that God is with us and will take care of us. He will provide what we need to be good parents. He will give us instructions, so that we can instruct our children. We need to depend on God for strength, knowledge, parental skills and wisdom. He wants us to succeed at parenting and He will helps us to do just that. Go ahead, don’t be afraid to be a parent that instructs, leads, guides and disciplines. It doesn’t make you a bad parent if you say “No”. If it did then that would make God a bad God, because He tells us “No” when we need to be told “No”. We all know God is a good God. So it is ok to say “No” and to instruct our children. Glorify God with your parenting!
Raising up children can be a difficult thing. I remember as a kid I said that I would never do some of the things my parents did. Well, I did end up doing some of the things my parents did. It isn’t until you have children of your own that you see why your parents did the things they do. The Bible has a lot of great wisdom contained in it for bringing up your children. The Holy Spirit can also help you raise your children. Other Christian parents are also a great resource for wisdom on dealing with your children. In other words, you are not alone. Both of my children were very different. We sometimes had to use different approaches when it came to disciplining them. All children need disciplined at one time or another. No child is perfect. Some will test you until you have reached your last straw of control. Even if you don’t have children yet, or just help baby sit others kids, some good planning and training ahead of time can be of benefit. For example, knowing what the Bible says will be a good place to start. Here are three great verses that teach us some wisdom about disciplining children:
Proverbs 13:24 - The one who will not use the rod hates his son, but the one who loves him disciplines him diligently.
Proverbs 19:18 - Discipline your son while there is hope; don’t be intent on killing him.
Proverbs 22:15 - Foolishness is tangled up in the heart of a youth; the rod of discipline will drive it away from him.
Some parents and some parts of society/culture think that children should be allowed lots of choices and freedom. That they will naturally do what is good for them or learn from their mistakes. The first thing parents or caretakers for children need to remember is that we are all born with a sinful nature and none of us are ever going to naturally do what is good for us and many of us don’t learn from our mistakes. The Bible teaches us that if we love our children we will discipline them, just like God disciplines us. It is out of love that we show them what is right and wrong. We want to protect them and show them the safer and better way to go. In the next scripture we see that if we let a child go their own way, we may get so stressed that we get to the point we just want to shake them and wake them up. I know my teenagers sometimes pushed me to the limit. Not that I would want to kill them literally. This verse is really making more the point that when someone keeps going down the wrong path in life it is like you are the one helping them to harm themselves. It’s like intending to kill them when you don’t help them or getting them going in the direction that is safe. In the last verse we see the age old concept that young people are fearless and may make foolish decisions based on their lack of experience or wisdom. Sometimes kind words of wisdom are not enough and they need to be warned much more strongly. Yes, even the rod of discipline might be needed with some personalities. For different children that rod may look very different. It might be grounding, no TV or an actual rod, etc.
People are afraid to discipline thinking that their child won’t love them, but in reality discipline will keep them safer and they will still love you. Sometimes we were strong with our kids, but they always knew where we stood and in the end still loved us. They can look back on things now and understand why we did the things we did. So use the wisdom of discipline to improve your child’s life and future.
Remember that song, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”? Not the best lyrics, but it is trying to make the point that the man tries all these different things and can’t get any satisfaction out of them. This song represents a very sad way to live. Yet, God has made us to live our lives in ways that are more than just satisfying; our lives were to be fulfilling. Jesus came that we might have an abundant life. One of the ways that God teaches in His Word to get satisfaction is through the words we speak and share with others. Read Proverbs 12:14.
A man will be satisfied with good by the words of his mouth, and the work of a man’s hands will reward him.
Many times we don’t really realize how important our words are. We carelessly speak words, thinking it doesn’t really matter. We say to ourselves, “What does it matter what I said. They will forget what I said anyways.” However, in reality, once you have said something you can’t take it back. You can try to apologize or delete that post from Facebook, but if someone has seen or heard your words you cannot erase them from their minds. Rash, foolish or angry words will end up bringing us bad things. We will get no satisfaction out of them. Good, kind, helpful, loving, wise words will reap all kinds of benefits. We will gain satisfaction from them. Basically this is the concept of “reaping what you sowing”. What an encouragement to know that God will bless us for the good words we use. If you plant good seed, you will get good plants. So think of your words seeds and maybe you will see great rewards grow out of them.
Politicians are pretty interesting people to watch when they speak. Their goal is to win over their audience to whatever they are pushing for. Whether they are running for office and want to win the vote or they are trying to get the public to accept their new bill or policy. Unfortunately, some politicians pre-plan every word they speak and others don’t plan enough. It only takes one wrong word to cause the speech maker’s goals to not be met. As Christians we too, need to watch what words we speak. Our words will protect us or destroy us. They will keep us from trouble or throw us head first in to it. We will glorify God with our words or we will cause people to question our faith and our God. Here are two great Proverbs that remind us of these points:
Proverbs 12:13 – An evil man is trapped by [his] rebellious speech, but the righteous escapes from trouble.
Proverbs 13:3 – The one who guards his mouth protects his life; the one who opens his lips invites his own ruin.
Like the Politicians, we as Christians, have a goal. We are to glorify God in everything we do. It just makes common sense therefore to guard our speech. We need to resist temptation to speak instantly when asked a question, insulted, angered or hear an off-colored joke. We need to stop and think. We need to pray more often before we rashly speak out or up. As Christians, we need to think more about our words as if they were to save our life, keep us from ruin or trouble. We need to apply “Politician Speak” to our speech. In other words, be concerned about what we say like a Politician is concerned about what they say.
I remember growing up hearing the phrase, “Honestly now…tell the truth.” Someone always used it to emphasize that they wanted the whole truth out of you when they asked you a question. You especially said this, when it was something very personal. Cruising around on the internet you can find a website that helps you ask your friends or friends of friends questions that help you decide what is best for you. I am not so sure I would trust their answers. People are always more worried about how people will respond to what they say. So people tend to “pad” the truth or tell “white” lies. Of course by God’s standard’s “padding” the truth and “white” lies are just lies. As Christians we need to make the choice on whether we are going to tell the truth or tell lies. If we are going to show God’s wisdom in our lives, then we are going to tell the truth. Wisdom is doing what is right and honest. Proverbs 12: 17 states, “Whoever speaks the truth declares what is right, but a false witness, deceit.” This verse instructs us to tell the truth.
We can see that truth and wisdom walk hand in hand from Proverbs 23:23 , “Buy—and do not sell—truth, wisdom, instruction, and understanding.” We are further instructed that we need to obtain it and not get rid of it. Once we start being dishonest, wisdom will cease. So next time a friend asks you a question, choose to be wise in God’s eyes and tell the truth. Honestly now, only true friends tell the truth.
One of my biggest battles in life is controlling the words that come out of my mouth when I speak to others. After being reminded about the importance of controlling my speech from scripture and starting out to pay attention to what I say, it seems like within seconds I have already blown it. I mostly have this problem, because I don’t stop to think before I speak. I speak based on some emotion pushing me to speak. Whether it be anger, fear, silliness, know-it-allness, or activism. My words can show others my wisdom or my foolishness. Read Proverbs 12:18.
There is one who speaks rashly, like a piercing sword; but the tongue of the wise [brings] healing.
If I am taking time to stop and think before I speak, I will put others first. I will think about whether my words are really necessary or helpful. I will think about whether they put others first in their feelings and needs. I will think about whether they will bring spiritual, physical or emotional healing to their lives. This will be the wise way to speak. My emotions and needs should not dominate my speech. My care for others should dominate my speech. Above all my need to glorify God should dominate my speech. When I pray, think and engage my brain before speaking, my speech will show wisdom. Rashness of speech will usually only end up cutting someone else in the process. In Proverbs 16: 27 -28 we see that the unwise person’s speech burns up the good things in life and brings out evil in life.
27 A worthless man digs up evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire. 28 A contrary man spreads conflict, and a gossip separates friends.
More friendships have been lost by careless words of unwise friends. Businesses and churches have been destroyed by foolish words. Even what might seem like insignificant or casual speech can do harm if it is unwise. Gossip is fire out of control once it begins. I pray for God to take over my brain and tongue. May my words glorify Him and help others. May I be deemed wise by my words and glorify God.