The Wisdom of Command Keeping – Proverbs 3:1-2
This week’s teaching challenges both parents and their kids. Because the stakes are high, both parents and kids need to fully appreciate the value of what is being handed off. Generation 1 (parents) have a responsibility before the Lord to intentionally prepare Generation 2 (kids, His gift to them) for a life of wise and eager walking-with-God.
So how? Is it just about laying down the law (i.e., a set of commanded rules) and demanding obedience? Think again. One of the first effective teachers on the Christian home in the 20th century was Dr. Howard Hendricks. He often urged dads and moms to understand this 3-R principle:
Rules without Relationship = Rebellion.
The converse was true as well.
Rules with Relationship = Respect (and positive development).
This study is designed to help (1) identify those life-shaping commands you believe are important for which Generation 1 < > Generation 2 discipleship, and (2) foster sharpening sharing about best practices for an effective “hand off.”
Let’s get STARTED – Talk together your home and relationship with your parents during your growing up years.
- What commands were you expected to remember and obey? Were they clearly stated, or just more “understood”?
- Did you understand the principles or values that were important to them? Did they expect you to adopt them?
- Did you adopt your parents’ principles? If so, why? And if not, why did you set them aside?
- Did your parents’ rules (and/or expectations) whet your appetite for a relationship with God?
Let’s Explore in the WORD - Taking a closer look at Proverbs 3:1-2, do some assessment. Give 5-8 minutes for everyone in your group to assess and write. (NOTE: If you are not yet a parent or grandparent, tackle this exercise as preparation for what may lie ahead. Answer thinking, “What would I do…?)
3:1 “My son, do not forget my teaching”
Identify 3 principles/commands what you have taught (or are teaching) your children (or grandchildren)
(Scriptural basis for these?)
“ but let your heart keep my commandments”
State why you consider these principles/commands so important for your child’s future.
2 for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you”
Write out the long-term benefits that can happen in your child’s life should they keep your commands from the heart.
What did you learn from this simple exercise? Would it be helpful to your family to be more intentional about identifying the key commands (or principles) you believe should shape your children’s hearts and characters? What about launching a family discussion about these, exploring them together? Could be a great step of “family enrichment”!
Let’s Prioritize APPLICATION - Back to Dr. Hendricks’ “proverb.” Struggling with any rebellion at home? What kind of relationship with your kids would best prepare their hearts for receiving (long term) important teaching and commands from you? Do you think you are investing enough quality time in building a relationship of love and trust with your kids? Don’t finish the evening without unpacking this a bit as well. Then pray for the Holy Spirit to guide and empower your parenting with His precious gifts to you. Pray for one another in this important area, and for each other’s children or grandchildren.
The BEYOND THE SERMON Video Podcast is available each week. It posts on Monday evening, 8:00 PM. Check it out!
EXTRA: Tip on a great parenting resource: Joiner & Nieuwhof, Parenting Beyond Your Capacity (David C. Cook)