20 My son, keep your father’s commandment,
and forsake not your mother’s teaching.
21 Bind them on your heart always;
tie them around your neck. 22 When you walk, they will lead you;
when you lie down, they will watch over you;
and when you awake, they will talk with you.
23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,
and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,
24 to preserve you from the evil woman,
from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.
Listen, keep, and remember the lessons of your parents. They will guide you and protect you throughout your life. If you keep them, they will protect you from the most pervasive of temptations in our society – that of sexual sin. Of course, the premise here is that the teachings of your parents are instruction in the commandments of God. Parents are to teach what those commandments are; they are to teach the reasons for following the commandments and the wisdom of these laws. They are to model obedience. They are to teach from their own experience the blessings of obeying the commands and the pain of disobeying them. Parents are to discipline and reprove their children upon disobedience, and they are to encourage and praise their children when they obey.
The result is that as the children mature, they recognize the wisdom of their parents’ teaching and will obey out of that trust. They also are taught how to discern and use discretion; thus, they gain the ability to spot sin and avoid it. They learn from their parents not merely to obey the law, but to love God’s commands, so that they do not think they are choosing between pleasure and obedience. They know the greater pleasure lies in obedience.
Parents, are you teaching your children commands and teachings that are worthy of binding them on your children’s hearts and around their necks? Are your teachings a lamp leading along the way of life? The “evil woman” will be using all her wiles to lead them astray. What are you giving them now to preserve them?
Give them the righteous commands of the law. But give them the Gospel day after day after day. The law alone will only set up their fall. It is the Gospel that will be the shining lamp leading them through life’s perils. Show them Christ and how to keep their eyes upon him.
© 2023 Tenth Presbyterian Church.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2023 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org