(Note: these chapters are designed for a father to read to his 12-year-old son.)
“Hear my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching,
for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.” ~ Proverbs 1:8-9
As you grow toward manhood over the next few years, you will run into more and more people who will try to convince you that your father doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
They will try to get you to believe that the values I am trying to instill in you are old-fashioned and out-of-date. You will run across a lot of people - friends, teachers, professors, voices on television - who will have nothing but contempt for the values we are talking about here together.
If you listen to them, they just might persuade you to dump these values and adopt theirs, values which just might destroy your life.
Do not let them do this to you.
I love you far more than they do. I love you more than I love my own life. I would lay down my life for you in a heartbeat without even having to think about it because I love you so much.
The folks who will try to get you to reject my values don’t love you like that.
The values I am trying to teach you are a protection for you. They point to a pathway that will lead to life, happiness, and prosperity. It’s a path I want you to walk because I want only the best for you.
Don’t let yourself be tricked into rejecting these values by somebody who tries to impress you with how much smarter they are than your father. If they try to get you to throw the values we are talking about into the trash, they are the ones who do not know what they are talking about.
It’s because these values are not just my values. They come from the heart and mind of God himself. To reject these values is not just to reject my wisdom, it is to reject the wisdom of God. Don’t make this mistake.
Solomon urged his son to wear the words of wisdom he heard from his father around his neck like a necklace which he never takes off but wears all the time. The wisdom that is found on the end of that necklace lies over your heart. It’s Solomon’s way of telling you to take these values and store them up in your heart and never forget them.
Here’s a quote attributed to Mark Twain:
When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.
By which of course he meant that he had come to understand as a man how right his father’s counsel had been all along and how foolish he had been to reject it in his teenage years.
Let me finish this conversation with the words of the Scripture:
“My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments,
for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.” ~ Proverbs 2:1-2
Father, I pray that my son will embrace the values of your Word and never forget them as long as he lives. I claim your promise that you will grant him life and peace as a reward for following you. In Jesus’ name, amen.