The Measure of Success
“My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee: So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom and apply thine heart to understanding, Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.”
Verse 5 describes the goal of godly parenting: to produce youth who understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. Academic scores do not measure success in your child. Though our children become doctors, lawyers, and influential citizens, we fail if they leave our home without a genuine fear of the Lord and understanding of how He works.
How do we produce God-fearing youth? Solomon presents several steps in the verses that follow. The next several days we will look at each of these more closely.
The First Step to Wisdom
First, youth must “receive my words.” The search for wisdom begins by learning from someone else. That’s where parents come in. You are the “someone else.” Your children must receive your words. The word receive means “to take, to grasp, to seize, or to take away.” We’re not talking about paying attention. As hard as it may be to get a child to pay attention, the parent’s job involves even more. We have not taught until our children seize upon the truth and make it their own.
Don’t work on attention techniques. Work on getting to their heart! Paying attention is only the gate that leads to what you’re really after, a possessed heart. How do we do that? We get to their heart through our heart. Children seize their mentor’s passion, burden, and fire. If you’re burned out or cold in your heart for both the Lord and His work, your children will have nothing to seize.
Final thought: Youth can’t snatch fire from dead coals. How’s your fire?