Proverbs 1:10-14, My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:
The words "My son" are used 23 times and the word son is used 44 times in the book of Proverbs.
I believe that God intends for us to learn from this, that instruction of the father to the son is to be a personal thing and not left solely to others.
Too many times in our culture we delegate instruction of our children to others.
We expect our children to be completely taught by television, by the nursery and daycare, by our Christian schools and Sunday Schools, by our sports and music programs.
We rely heavily on institutional instruction and by doing we neglect that personal one-on-one instruction of our children.
As though we are on instructional welfare, we cease to be actively involved in personal instruction of our children.
We adopt the "Let someone else do it" philosophy!
By this neglect we tend to be reactive teachers at home instead of active teachers.
Instead of leading our children in the way that they should go we follow them and correct them when they fail to meet our unstated or our untaught standards.
Instead of "train up a child in the way that he should go" which involves active narrowing of a child, we by our neglect, allow him to broaden and then by reactive correction we try to narrow him.
Instead of being a leader of our children we become one who prods.
Isn't it more productive to follow a leader who is in front of you than to try to figure out which way someone prodding in back of you wants you to go?
The prisons are full of examples of children who have been left to themselves until society could put up with them no longer and they are now locked up and isolated.
They become hidden from parents who have betrayed them, parents who only entered into instruction in search of some peace and quiet in the home.
The scripture knows nothing of this kind of hit or miss reactive training.
The scriptural father is a teaching father.
The scriptural father is a father who teaches his son discernment and judgment in order to avoid the pitfalls of youth.
This is a wise father.
As in many proverbs this proverb starts out with the words, "My son."
It indicates the direct teaching of a father to the son.
This teaching is not solely to be left to others.
To rear godly children a father must be actively involved in their instruction.
The importance of the instruction can only be communicated by the father's direct participation in the instruction.
How does a child come to know what is important to the father or the mother.
By default, by experience or by personal instruction?
Our fast paced technological culture, is an enemy of this participation.
The drive for material goods and comforts far out weighs any motivation to directly participate in our children's training.
Like ready made frozen dinners and take out meals why not just delegate this to others, sit back and relax and simply try to have pleasure with our children.
The answer to this "why" for the Christian comes from God's book that provides answers to all the important questions of life.
Yes, the Church and the Christian School have a part in this instruction, but it is only a part.
It is paramount that the father and the mother participate directly in the training of the child.
Who, if not the father is that someone who is to have a vision of where that child is to go?
Train up a child in the way he should go indicates that the father has a vision of where that child is to go.
Don't we take more care in building a car in this country than building a child?
How haphazard and careless we are in our rearing of children.
So many times we yield to others, who couldn't care less about what our children are to become!
Do you think the television producers care about what your child is to become?
What carmaker would allow just anyone to put into their cars, components that do not fit the vision that they have of a finished automobile.
The problem is that few parents have a vision for their child.
Let him choose, let him grow up to be whatever!
Isn't that the American way?
Some parents even believe in keeping the child ignorant of anything spiritual so that when he grows up he can make his own choice.
I know what choice he will make!
He will make the choice of the vision of his parents. NO CHOICE!
But is that the Christian vision?
What is the vision you have for your child?
What do you picture the little baby doing that the Lord has given you to rear in 20 or 30 years?
If you want that picture to become reality how are you going to do it.
What is to be done today to make it happen?
The pattern is clear. Personal instruction!
A taking of that child aside and acting upon that child.
Not only reacting but active training.
And as a Christian that active training must be an impartation of the word of God by word and by deed.
Take that baby and early-on read to him or her the scripture and expound on the sense of the word.
Get into the habit of one-on-one instruction even before that child can understand.
Have serious principled conversation at the dining table.
Establish a normalcy in the instruction in the word of God early-on in the life of the child.
What did Solomon promise in the early verses of this wonderful child training book of Proverbs.
To know wisdom, instruction, understanding, justice, judgment, equity, subtility, discretion, a hearing ear, increasing learning, understanding proverbs and the words of dark sayings.
In our world where is the child going to get that kind of instruction?
Can you as a father or a mother completely entrust that instruction to others.
I don't believe the mission of the Christian School or the church is to have a vision for your child.
The direction is up to the father and the mother.
You train up the child! You are responsible.
God will hold you accountable, not the Christian School or the church.
They are simply to be your helpers.
We must impart early the foundational truth that knowledge of God can only be given to those who fear God.
Father, as a God fearing man, by personal knowledge of the scriptures and a yielding to God's will for his life, is to have the vision for the child.
My son, hear the instruction of thy father.
My son, my instruction is designed to realize my vision for you!
What I put into you is limited, narrow, and aimed at success in bringing my vision for you to reality.
My instruction is solely for your benefit, without hidden motives but that you may grow in the Lord to serve the Lord.
Therefore I begin by instructing you in the rudiments.
My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
My son, sinners are recruiters for their master.
And as do all recruiters, they will use enticements.
My son, always be distrustful of enticements for God does not use enticements.
Enticements are reserved for the devil and his own.
Sinners will use any means to excite hope or desire in you to get you to accomplish their purpose.
Sinners use enticements to induce to sin by promises or by persuasions which cater to the flesh.
Beware of enticements from all directions.
They are simply bribes to get you to do something that you would not do without the enticement.
It is a selling of your will.
It is not God's will for you to yield yourself to enticements.
Those in a Christian ministry must be careful not to use enticements to attract people to a ministry.
People are to come to serve in a ministry because it is God's will that they come and not because of enticements.
Not because of benefit packages. This is the world's way.
Enticements are the devil's tool for he loves to cater to the flesh.
The devil took our Lord up into an exceeding high mountain and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
It is God's will that we worship him and enticements are those things that steal our worship of the Lord.
We are to focus our eyes on God and enticements are simply designed to take away that focus.