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.
This is a good lesson for parents and children. First to children: what you may regard as chains around your neck, burdening and holding you down are really garlands and pendants to adorn you. Their instructions and rules are for your protection and your growing in maturity and wisdom – and wisdom is the finest of jewels. Their teachings which may appear to be outdated are based on principles that have stood the test of time, and much of what they have to teach they have learned from experience. Understand further that they have been entrusted by God with raising you according to his ways. It is a great responsibility and all the more reason then for you to listen to them regardless of how well you think they follow their own rules. You will be held accountable by God for how well you listened and obeyed godly instruction, regardless of your parents ability to obey. You will be accountable for your own behavior.
Then to parents: see the great responsibility laid upon you. Are you indeed giving instruction that is graceful and valuable? Are you teaching the ways of the Lord? Are you teaching what it is to be just, to be godly, to be merciful? Or do you lay heavy burdens on the necks of your children that you yourself would not bear? And are you living before your children the very principles that you teach them to observe? You must teach your children; you must give instruction. You cannot evade that responsibility. All the more then, study the Word of God, seek after wisdom, and follow what you teach.
And always point your children to the Word – Jesus Christ. Do not let them think that life is about following the right rules. Teach them the salvation found only in our Lord, and teach them to live by his grace and mercy.
© 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org