For the month of May, we will be Praying Through The Proverbs. Unlike a Bible study, we will simply pray a few key Scriptures each day. We’ll concentrate on how these verses apply to our individual lives, and ask God to reveal to us if there is anything specific we need to repent of or work on. Let’s look at Chapter 13*.
Today we’ll look at these key verses in regards to raising children….but as we all know, their lessons still apply to those of us in our midlife. We never outgrow God’s wisdom.
Key Verses in Chapter 13:
v.18 He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.
When our children ignore our discipline, they usually pay for pay for their mistakes. Eventually – hopefully – they will realize we were right, and make better choices the next time. But if they take heed of our correction, they will save themselves heartache and a lot of negative consequences.
v.20 He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.
Our friends are a reflection of our own character. Parents usually recognize bad influences, and it is our duty to try to separate our children from those people for their own protection.
v.21 Misfortune pursues the sinner, but prosperity is the reward of the righteous.
A “bad” person is constantly looking over his shoulder. He likely has a guilty conscience and expects to be punished…or at least found out. But the righteous have a clear conscience….and peace and prosperity. Some people call this karma. The Bible tells us we can expect to get back what we give: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – Luke 6:38.)
v.22 A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.
A Christian heritage is the greatest legacy we can leave to our children and our grandchildren.
v.24 He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.
If we want our children to be successful (and not just financially, mind you), we must train them up well from a very young age. This requires both a healthy amount of discipline (many would say including corporal punishment, ie. spanking)….but always balanced with heaps and heaps of grace and love.
The Bible tells us God corrects His children in the same manner: If God loves you, He will correct you when you are wrong. “…because the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastens everyone He accepts as His son. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as His children. …..God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in His holiness. …it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” – Heb. 12:6-11
Father God, I humbly enter this, my secret place, and acknowledge I am in the Presence of the One True God. Thank You for meeting me here. Forgive me so I can stand in Your Presence clean and holy.
Father God….my children may be grown, but I pray that they realize that everything I did, I did for their own good. Parenting is the hardest thing I will ever do…and I know I failed miserably sometimes. Forgive me, Father. Help my children to understand that I did the best that I could. I love them more than my own life, and I know You love them even more!
And now that I have grandchildren, help me to train them up to follow Your commands, the same way (or better). Help them realize that when their parents or I tell them, “Don’t”, we really saying, “Don’t…because it will hurt you.”
Protect my children – and my grandchildren – from enemy lies and deception, Father. I pray they will trust You as their Lord and Savior, and live lives of obedience to Your commands…for their own good.
I pray these things in Jesus’ Name…