In our previous study of this 13th chapter of Proverbs, I just touched on verse 24. In this study I want to give it our full attention as we learn how to love our children. I hesitate to deal with the discipline of children unless I have time to cover it fully; just as I hesitate to deal with the Scriptural truth of wives being in subjection to their husbands, unless I have time to deal with the total husband/wife relationship. I’ve seen too many immature husbands and fathers adopt a tyrannical attitude in both cases, thinking they are acting Biblically. For the full story on marriage and raising children I urge you to study carefully and prayerfully with your Bible my series on MARRIAGE and my series on FAMILY on this web site.
But for now, let’s examine further Proverbs 13:24 as we learn what it means for parents to love their children. The details of how a mother should love her children should be taught by older godly women, preferably her own godly mother, if such was the case, we learn in Titus 2:1-5.
Since a pastor’s teaching is accomplished, not only by preaching; but also by example, that is why, according to I Timothy 3:4-5, a preacher’s primary qualification for that important office is his own example as a godly husband and father.
Disciplining our children involves much more than lovingly spanking them when they disobey. It involves giving them our full attention when they speak to us and ask questions. That’s sometimes very difficult when a busy father has many pressing concerns on his mind. Just remember, father, that no business concern and nothing in your busy schedule is more important than giving your child the time and personal attention he craves from you.
If you give them your full attention as toddlers, you will continue to enjoy a close relationship with them through their emotionally turbulent teens. NEVER embarrass your children in the presence of others, just as you must never embarrass your spouse by cutting her down in the presence of others. Such cruelty and insensitivity only results in growing alienation of your children and your wife
There is NEVER an occasion to be thoughtless and rude in public or in private when dealing with faults in your wife or your children. When dealing with the faults of those in your family or others, it should always be done privately and the truth must always be spoken in love. There should be no question of your love for them.
FALSE RELIGION AND CRUELTY TO CHILDREN
In Old Testament times the heathen sacrificed their infants and small children to Molech, a human shaped fiery furnace. Children were placed in the red hot arms of this furnace type god and burned to death. God warned Israel in Leviticus 18:21 and 20:1-5 against being involved in such cruelty.
In some countries today parents throw their infants to their death in crocodile- infested rivers. In some countries twins are killed as part of their religious practice.
CIVILIZED AMERICA’S FALSE RELIGION
In civilized America many mothers kill their babies by aborting them.
Many parents over the past century have given their children to the public schools where the modern high priest, John Dewey, an America philosopher and educator, planted the seeds of Progressive Education a century ago.
It involved some good ideas, such as allowing children to learn by doing, instead of learning by mere rote memory. However, it also promoted the philosophy of never crossing the will of a child and allowing him to do his own thing in the classroom. Most Americans today who have grown up in this system have been fed and digested this philosophy which allows children to do as they please. Parents of this generation, raised the hippie generation with its rock culture, which expressed themselves with rebellion to all authority, including the authority of their own parents. Many parents who were fed this philosophy in school have swallowed and digested it to the destruction of their families, raising children who reject all authority and do as they please.
THE TENETS OF THIS FALSE RELIGION
Never cross a child’s will. He may scream and stamp his feet and become frustrated.
Allow a child to express himself and do as he pleases, even if his actions interfere with the freedom and comfort of others.
Never give children rules nor set boundaries telling a child what he may or may not do. This philosophy spills over to the modern churches where a preachers who declares what the Bible says is right and wrong, is labeled “judgmental” and is not tolerated.
Use psychology, not punishment with children. This method of child rearing is based on the anti-biblical principle that everyone is basically good and there is no such thing as sin. Never ever spank! Instead, use time-outs and loss of privileges.
Let me clarify. There ARE times when time-outs and loss of privileges are a useful method of discipline. However, when a child has deliberately disobeyed or shown defiance to authority; nothing less than spankings will suffice. To see how this method of discipline worked with my own children, go to the category FAMILY and read how we disciplined our three children.
THE BIBLE ON CORPORAL PUNISHMENT
God’s way of disciplining our children is corporal punishment. Read Proverbs 13:24, 19:18, 22:15, 23:13-14, 29:15.
The Godless world is opposed to corporal punishment for children and to capital punishment for murderers and rapists. They call it cruelty. If you are opposed to these methods of dealing with disobedience and crime, you have swallowed this anti-biblical philosophy which is part of so-called Theological Liberalism.
Parents, before you start spanking your children, make sure that you are not angry, but under the control of God; otherwise you are in no position to lay a hand on your children.
Spank only for the right reasons. Deliberate disrespect, disobedience or lying to you.
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER SPANK A CHILD WHEN YOU ARE IN A FIT OF RAGE AND OUT OF CONTROL!
Spank only long enough and firmly enough on the buttocks to the place where your child has a broken heart and a broken spirit over his disobedience. If you do it right, when the spanking is over, cuddle the child in your arms and assure him or her of your love.
Let me speak from experience here. If you punish correctly, by the time your child is 5 years old and starts Kindergarten, he may never need another spanking. By the time he or she is a teenager, you will not need to deal with surliness and rebellion. You will have gained the love and respect of your child.
THE RESULTS OF USING CONSISTENT, LOVING BIBLICAL DISCIPLINE IN THE CONTEXT OF CHRISTIAN TRAINING.
Your children will be a delight and bring rest to you. Proverbs 29:17
Your children will bless you. Proverbs 31:28
Best of all, your children will continue to live their lives in the Biblical direction you steered and patterned for them by your own life. Proverbs 22:6
The happy bonus is that they will raise their children, your grandchildren, as you did them.
THE RESULTS OF RAISING YOUR CHILDREN PERMISSIVELY
They will grow up unhappy, sullen, angry children who long for parents to love them enough to set boundaries for them and make them obey.
Furthermore, they will grow up to rebel against all authority, including the police, because they never knew consistent, firm authority at home.
IT’S YOUR CHOICE FATHERS AND MOTHERS.
HOW WILL YOU RAISE YOUR CHILDREN?
We continue our study of Proverbs 13 by dealing with the last 13 verses, beginning with verse 13. This portion basically deals with the folly and danger of despising and rejecting the reading, preaching and hearing of God’s Word.
How do we despise the Word of God?
By not reading it and staying away from the preaching of His Word.
By closing our ears and focusing our attention of other things during the preaching of the Word.
Some preachers despise the Word by emphasizing other things, such as promoting their doctrinal agendas or attempting to stir up emotional feelings at the expense of expositing and explaining what the Bible says.
Liberal preachers, of course, despise it by explaining it away as myth.
We preachers despise the Word when we give more attention to our opinions and the opinions of others than we do declaring what the Bible says.
One who despises the Word or God can be sure of one thing. He will be destroyed. Read Proverbs 13:13, 1:20-33 and II Peter 2.
Back in Noah’s day, Noah was a preacher of righteousness and built the ark, warning others of the coming Flood, we read in II Peter 2:4-5. We are warned in II Peter 3 that as people scorned Noah, so people today avoid preachers who, as Noah, warn of the coming judgment of God upon the world.
Instead of despising such preaching, let us take every opportunity in this present Age of Grace to hunger for and soak up the faithful, practical exposition of God’s Word. Amos prophesied in Amos 8:11-13 that in the end times, there would come a famine of the Word of God and people will be desperate to hear it, but will not be able to find it.
In this Age of Grace let us seek after the fear, reverence and love for God’s Word as we are admonished in Psalm 19:7-14
God’s moral, holy standards are not burdensome restrictions. Rather. Proverbs 13:14 reminds us that God’s Word is a refreshing fountain of life. bringing life and refreshment to parched souls and protecting us from the snares of sin and death.
Verse 15 takes us a step further in our knowledge of God and His Word. We not only hear it and know what it says; we also understand what we read as the indwelling Holy Spirit opens up our understanding.
Jesus, God incarnate, had that understanding as a child. Luke 2:52
Daniel, as a young Israelite in Babylon, had it. Daniel 1:9.
The early church had it. Acts 2:41-47
By way of contrast, Proverbs 13:15 warns us that “the way of the transgressor is hard.” The one who brazenly breaks God’s Law is going to experience a lifetime of hardship. I don’t want to learn the lessons of God’s Word the hard way.
Wise men and women deal faithfully with God’s Word by facing it openly and humbly and not ignoring and fighting it; whereas fools ignore it and are in open rebellion to it. Verse 16 declares that rebellion is open and obvious for all to see.
Verse 17 contrasts faithful and unfaithful messengers. A faithful messenger, whether he be a preacher or faithful layman, proves his character, as Eliezer in Genesis 15:2 and Genesis 24 by his faithful discharge of responsibilities entrusted to him. A wicked messenger betrays his trust and falls into mischief, as did Gehazi in II Kings 5:26-27.
Verse 18 challenges me with an easy decision. Receive God’s Word and prosper or reject God’s Word and suffer poverty and shame. These truths are repeated several times in Proverbs.
Verse 19 contrast the desire of the righteous with the desire of the wicked. The desire of the righteous is ultimately perfection which will one day be accomplished in Heaven. On the other hand, the desire of the unregenerate fool is to continue in sin. The thought of giving up sin is hateful to him. He loves his sin.
Verse 20 teaches that those who walk with the truly wise will eventually be wise; but those who walk with fools will be destroyed.
Verse 21 Rebel against God as a fool and you will never be able to escape evil, no matter how fast you run. It will pursue you as a lion until it catches and destroys you. However, the godly who live to serve God will be repayed here and in eternity.
Verse 22 speaks about the inheritance we will one day leave our children and our grandchildren. The godly will leave an inheritance of an example of godly character, as well as some financial inheritance.
Verse 23 teaches that those who work will have food to eat. On the other hand, even a great estate can be eroded and destroyed for lack of judgment and care.
Verse 24 Hints of how we are to discipline our children. It is an important subject that we cannot deal with here. For a detailed study of that, go to my category FAMILY where I deal with it in detail from a biblical perspective.
This 13th chapter of Proverbs concludes in verse 25 with the topic of satisfaction. We who are trusting in Christ, find our satisfaction in Him. If He is our Saviour and Lord, we find our full satisfaction in Him. On the other hand, the wicked are never satisfied, regardless of what they have. Isaiah 57:20-21 describe them as a troubled, restless sea whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace nor satisfaction for the wicked.
The 13th chapter of Proverbs continues the theme of this book: the value of seeking and receiving the wisdom of God’s Word vs the folly of rejecting it.
Verse 1 reminds us that no one on earth loves us more than our father and mother. Though they cannot and must not try to run our lives after we have left home and are on our own; they never cease loving us and desiring God’s best for us. The same goes for a faithful pastor. He, along with your parents, desires to see you joyful and successful in life. Those who scorn and refuse to listen to and accept the rebuke of parents or a Biblically faithful pastor can count on facing dire consequences in the future.
Verse 2 speaks of the “fruit of our mouth”, that is, our speech. “Our speech betrays us,” we are reminded in Matthew 26:73. One can tell a lot about the spiritual condition of a person by listening to his conversation. It indicates upon what we are feeding. Is it the Word of God, or is it the banal and often wicked fare of radio, television and Hollywood? What we enjoy speaks volumes about us.
Therefore verse 3 warns us to guard our heart and our tongue. Those who do guard their lives. Those who do not guard their hearts and tongues are exposing themselves to destruction. That’s why David in Psalm 141:3 asked God to “set a watch before his mouth and guard the door of his lips” One who has no control over his tongue has no control over his life and is headed for destruction.
In verse 4 we see the sluggard and the diligent contrasted. The sluggard or the lazy just desires, but that’s as far as he gets. He just sits on his sofa or lies on his bed watching television. On the other hand, the diligent work and experience success. Someone has said, “The harder I work the luckier I become.” Proverbs 22:29 describes the contrast. “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall go places and not be lost in obscurity.” That’s my paraphrase of the verse.
Verse 5 states, “A righteous man hates lying: but a wicked man is loathsome and comes to shame.” It seems that the whole world lies. That includes the political and the business world. How rare, how gratifying and how comforting it is to find men and women who consistently tell the truth. Liars are listed in in Revelation 21:8 among those who will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. That should be a sober warning to anyone who is given to lying.
Verse 6 speaks of God’s righteousness, as taught in His Word. It keeps us standing when others are falling all around us. Like a compass, it keeps us pointed in the right direction and on course. Like a soldier’s breastplate and armour, it protects us. Even though we sin and are imperfect, His righteousness imputed and imparted to us keeps us standing. Without it we fall and are overthrown by sin.
In verse 7 we learn the principle of generosity and financial success. One can work hard at becoming rich and being selfish and still have nothing. The Laodiceans referred to in Revelation 3:17-18 boasted in their riches, but were living in spiritual poverty.
On the other hand a generous person who share of himself and his own resources has great riches and is prosperous in all his ways.
Jesus made Himself poor for us to give us great riches. II Corinthians 8:9 and 9:6-10.
Verse 8 reminds us that the wealthy risk evil men demanding ransom or extortion money. As Proverbs 10:15 says, “His wealth is his strong city.” On the other hand, the poor are ignored. They don’t have to concern themselves with locking their doors or setting their burglar alarms.
One’s happiness, therefore, consists; not in what we have or don’t have; but in our relationship with Christ.
Verse 9 and Proverbs 4:18 teach that those whose righteousness is found in knowing Christ experience a life of increasing light; whereas the wicked live a life of increasing spiritual darkness which leads to eternal darkness.
Verse 10 links a life of pride to a life of contention. Pride and contention always go together.
Verse 11 teaches an important principle for those who desire to be wealthy. Wealth gained by get rich quick schemes disappears as quickly as it comes. I know from first hand experience. I’ve wasted time and money in some that held grandiose, but empty promises.
I will close out this study with the truth of verse 12. Hope is like getting hungry before a meal. At first it is pleasurable; but when deferred it becomes painful. Like gnawing hunger and starvation. But when hope becomes sight it is invigorating. It’s like eating from the Tree of Life in Heaven. Hope will have turned to sight.
Proverbs chapter 12 continues the theme of this book, contrasting the righteous with the unrighteous, the wise with the foolish. It identifies the righteous as wise and the unrighteous as fools.
The chapter starts out in verse 1 contrasting Christians and unbelievers. Christians are those who have agreed with God’s Word that they are sinners in need of a Saviour. They have humbly put their trust in Christ who is their Wisdom, as well as their Saviour. As Christians, they love the instruction and comfort of reading and studying God’s Word, the Bible. The unbeliever, by contrast, trusts in his own pitiful self-righteousness. He hates and ignores the reproof and instruction of God’s Word and is portrayed as ignorant as a brute beast.
Verse 2 continues this contrast by declaring that the good man, (that is the sinner whose trust is in the righteousness and goodness of His Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ) daily obtains the favor and blessings of God; whereas the wicked Christ-rejecter is condemned right now, as well is throughout eternity.. John 3:18 and 5:24 confirm this truth.
Do you long for stability in your life? Proverbs 12:3 warns that a wicked Christ rejecter will never experience stability in his life; whereas the Christian will not be shaken by difficult circumstances. In Christ alone is stability. He is the Rock foundation of our lives.
The state of one’s marriage is very much influenced by one’s relationship with Christ. Verse 4 teaches that a godly, pure, virtuous woman is a crown and a blessing to her husband; whereas an ungodly woman is as a cancer to her husband causing his bones to rot and bringing him shame. Think about this, Christian young man and woman, your spiritual relationship with God and your would- be spouse’s spiritual relationship with God should be the number one, all-important concern when seeking a spouse. The typical couple when planning their marriage spends most of their time planning the ceremony, reception and honeymoon trip and very little time discussing life as husband and wife and the raising of children. To gain a proper long-range perspective I urge you to go to my series on MARRIAGE and on FAMILY on this web site to read and study them.
Verses 5-6 remind us that our relationship with God affects our thinking and our speech. We are warned that the advice of the wicked is deceitful. On the other hand, the words of those who have been given the righteousness and wisdom of God through faith in the shed blood of Christ can deliver and bless us. This a good reason for attending a church where Christ is exalted and where His infallible, inspired Word, the Bible, is taught and lived out.
Verse 7 gives an ultimatum to each of us. The wicked are overthrown. The righteous enjoy stability and security. Our future now and in eternity is determined by our decision to receive or reject Jesus and His blood atonement.
Verse 8 offers you a choice. A wise-hearted man or woman will be useful and commended. Those who reject God’s Word will forfeit that wisdom and be despised.
Verse 9 looks at the idea of being despised in a different light from verse 8. Whereas verse 8 warns of being despised for being perverse and rejecting the wisdom of God; verse 9 refers to one who is despised for doing right. He is despised by the world for walking in integrity and being successful in life. This person may even be successful enough to have a servant or more labor-saving tools in his house. On the other hand, there are those who vainly try to honor themselves but are despised by others. We never look so foolish than when we are being pompous and proud when we really have nothing for which to be proud.
Verse 10 contrasts the wicked and the righteous. The wicked are thoughtless and cruel to their pets and farm animals; whereas the righteous are thoughtful and show them kindness.
Verse 11 contrasts the hard worker who earns a living and has his needs met with the lazy loafer who follows vain, Socialistic, political leaders who offer to meet all his needs. One who follows such leaders is void of understanding.
Verses 12 and 14 contrast the outcome of the wicked with the righteous.
Verses 15-16 describe Christi-rejecters who see themselves as right, but they are actually fools.
Verses 17-23 contrast the speech of the righteous and the wicked. There we are taught to avoid using our speech and our words as swords, piercing the hearts of others. Rather, we are to use our words to bring the healing of God’s Truth to them. As a preacher throughout my life I have sought to use the Word of God as a sword to cut hard, self-righteous hearts and to bring the healing of God’s Word to the broken-hearted.
Do you want to go places and be greatly used of God? Verse 24 reminds us to be diligent and learn. The same verse contrasts the slothful who will live their lives enslaved to others and in debt all their lives.
Verse 25 reminds us that there are many heavy hearts in the world. We are encouraged to speak truth to them in such a way that they are encouraged.
Verses 26-28 close out this chapter teaching that righteousness ( that is Christ’s imputed righteousness taught in Romans 4) lifts us from the pathway of death and puts us on the pathway of life, leading to eternal life in Heaven.