Proverbs 6:23-24

Proverbs 6:23-24 "For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:  To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman."
Church Buffalo NY
In these verses, Solomon is attempting to convince his son that his parents’ rules exist for his own good.  He is trying to help his son see a father’s commandment as it were a lamp in a dark world.  He is trying to help his son see a mother’s law as it were light in a dangerous world.  Solomon is assuring Rehoboam that adherence to these parental rules will produce success in his life.

Solomon’s greatest challenge as a father was not obtaining the answers to his son’s questions or problems.  Remember, he was given Divine wisdom (1 Kings 3).  He possessed the wisdom necessary to determine a newborn’s true biological mother in a matter of minutes without the assistance of science and DNA testing.  He knew what he needed to know to help Rehoboam succeed in life.  God gave him the wisdom necessary to guide his children through childhood into adulthood.  His greatest challenge as a father was not having the answers for his son – his greatest parental challenge was PERSUADING his son that he had the answers for him.  This is the greatest challenge for every father and mother.  
While all parents are lacking in knowledge somewhere, all adult parents know more about life than their non-adult children.  Parents know more about people than their children.  Parents know more about work than their children.  Parents know more about money than their children.  Parents know more about the human body than their children.  Parents know more about human nature than their children.  Parents know more about time than their children.  Parents know more about relationships than their children.  Simply because of age and experience, adult parents can offer their children insight about life on nearly every issue.  The challenge for every father and mother is not as much about knowledge as it is about PERSUADING their children that they can help them. 

As children grow, they grow increasingly independent.  This is a part of the natural maturity process.  As children grow, they want to be a “big boy” or a “big girl.”  They want to learn on their own. They want to succeed on their own.  This is a healthy aspect of growing up because every child needs to become independent from their parents at some point.  Frankly, the job of a parent is to eventually work themselves out of a parental job.  That being said, in the process of seeking independence, a child will begin to resist their parent’s oversight and leadership.   With an increased appetite for independence, there comes an increased resistance to parental input.  Eventually in adolescence, teenage children unfortunately view parental “commandment” and “law” as oppressive and outdated.  At this stage in a child’s life, he or she renders a parent’s rule as old-fashioned and out of touch.  In general, teenagers easily think that their parents don’t have a clue what life is like since they were teenagers during the Jurassic period thirty years prior.  It is quite common for a teen to think that their parents’ rules are in place to keep them from having fun and from living life.  
Parents are often unprepared for this challenge.  They know they have the wisdom to help their sons and daughters succeed in life but they find themselves unable to use that wisdom because their teenage children don’t respect or value that wisdom.  What is a parent to do at this difficult stage of parenthood?  How is a parent to help his or her teenage child when parental wisdom isn’t respected or valued?  Proverbs 6 provides some guidance in tackling this parental challenge.

Parents, consider three practical suggestions stemming from verses 23-24:

1. Make Household Rules for the Success of the Kids, not for the Sanity of the Parents.

It was clearly communicated to Rehoboam that the paternal “commandment” and the maternal “law” was to help “keep him from the evil woman.”  It wasn’t to help keep mom or dad happy.  In Rehoboam’s childhood, the household rules were in place to help Rehoboam succeed later in life.  The household rules weren’t established to give the parents some peace and quiet.  The household rules weren’t established to make the parents happy as much as they to make the children successful.  Far too many young people feel that their parents set rules simply to make life better for their parents.  True or not, when a teenager feels that the household rules have been established to make life more enjoyable for the parents, that child will not will not take the wisdom of his parent seriously.  When a young person believes that household rules are all about the parents and not sincerely about the child’s well-being, he will distrust parental wisdom or disregard it altogether.  Parents, when establishing household rules, vet those rules to make sure they are born genuinely for the success of the children and not just for the sanity of the parents.  When establishing policies in the home, ask yourself:
“What quality will this produce in our children?”
“What lesson will this teach our children?”
“What discipline will our children learn?“
"How will this help them develop and grow?”
“Is this rule for the good of our kids or is this rule entirely about our life and our happiness?”

Remember that God doesn’t give us children for our success or for our happiness.  God gives us children so we can contribute to their success and offer them true happiness by raising them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

2. Teach Household Rules with an Emphasis on the Future, not with an Emphasis on the Family.

Solomon didn’t mention anything about his reputation as a father or his wife’s reputation as a mother.  He didn’t mention anything about the reputation of the family name.  Solomon didn’t guilt Rehoboam into following the rules because of what could happen to the family honor if he did not.  Solomon didn’t hold the royal family name of his grandfather over Rehoboam’s head.  When communicating the household rules to his son, Solomon made sure he emphasized Rehoboam’s future over all other things. Everything he taught him, he taught him for the sake of his future – “to keep him from the evil woman.”  Everything his mother taught him, she taught him for the sake of his future – “to keep him from the flattery of the tongue of the strange woman.”  Solomon effectively made this about Rehoboam’s future and not about Solomon’s family.  Parents, when teaching your children your “law,” communicate to them that your “law” is entirely about their lives and for their future well-being.  When children see that their parents truly care more about them than their own reputation, they’re more likely to hear the wisdom that they have to offer.  Within conservative circles, far too many parents have placed their convictions on their children without a clear explanation.  As a result, children eventually grow to feel used by their parents as pawns in a game to impress their peers.   Communicate care to your kids by communicating rules with an emphasis on your care for your kids and their future success.

3. Enforce Household Rules for the Sake of Instruction, not for the Sake of Retribution.

No matter how sound household rules are and no matter how well they are communicated to children, rules will be broken. When they are broken, reproof is both necessary and appropriate.  When reproof is necessary, the stakes are high for the rule-breaking child.  If handled poorly by a father or mother, the chances are high that the child may resist and ultimately reject that parent.  However, if handled properly by a father or mother, the chances are good that the child may respect and ultimately heed that parent.  When Solomon referred to reproof in these verses, he referred to them as the “reproofs of INSTRUCTION.”  Reproof can easily and solely be criticism.  Reproof can easily and solely be complaining.  Reproof can easily and solely be yelling.  Reproof can easily and solely be personal for a parent.  Reproof can easily turn into very hurtful words that leave scars. Reproof can easily turn into damaging words that stir bitterness in a child and break a biological bond.  Parents, when needing to reprove your child for breaking household habits, be sure to do so with instruction in mind.  “Reproofs of INSTRUCTION are the WAY OF LIFE.”  Telling a child that they are wrong and bad doesn’t put them on the “way of life.”  Telling a child that they are wrong and then telling that child how they can be right and why they need to be right will put them on the “way of life.”  Because of the emotional investment parents have in their children, reproofs can become emotional at the expense of not becoming instructional.  Be sure to offer solutions when you confront problems.  Offer light when you expose darkness.  Offer hope when you expose dangerous trends. Offer wisdom when you confront foolishness.

If we are to PERSUADE our children, especially our teenage children that we have wisdom that can help them, we must craft, communicate and carry out household rules wisely. Our children desperately need the wisdom God has taught us and unless our children are convinced that we genuinely care for them and their future, our wisdom will never find its way into their hearts.  Parents, do not take this challenge lightly.

Do your kids know you possess the wisdom they need?
Do your teenage kids respect and request your wisdom?





Rehoboam Solomon fear of God health pride self-sufficiency wisdom 1 Corinthians 2020 5th Commandment Aaron Abel Abigail Abraham Absalom Accident Achan Acts 17 Adam Adolescence Adolf Hitler Adulterer Adulteress Affair Age Ahijah Ahithophel Alcoholism Amnon Andrew Finch Answered Prayer Apple of Eye Arrogance Asaph Athletes Backbone Back Balance Bathsheba Bedroom Beecher Benefit Benjamin Bethlehem Bezaleel Bible reading Bible teacher Bible Biblical instruction Birth Boasting Bonar Bondage Boyfriend Building CA Rt 1 Cable News Calamity Call of Duty Calvin Canaan Cancer Careers Casey Viner Character Christian upbringing Christ Churches Clamor Clinton Clothes Clothing College Communication Conception Confidentiality Conservation Contrast Conversation Corinthians Corrupt Cosigner Cosigning Courting Creation Creator Crime Crooked Curiosity Currency Danger Daniel Data Dating Daughters David Death Delilah Desire Deuteronomy Devil Diligent Discovery Disease Dishonesty Dishonor Divorce Drink Drug lords Drunk Early Adulthood Ecclesiastes Economic Stability Eden Elderly Elihu Elijah Emerson Engagement Enoch Ephesians Ephraimites Esau Esther Evening Eve Exodus Expectations Experience Famine Fashion Favor of God Fear of the Lord Fearing God Feast of Purim Financial Security Fingers Food Foolish Freedom Friendships Friend Froward Fruit GPS Galatians Gender Differences Genesis Gideon Gileadites Girlfriend Glad Godhead Goliath Gossip Grandchildren Gratitude Grief Guide Guns Hagar Haman Hamlet Hannah Harlot Hate Evil Hatred Healthy Heaven Hebrews Herod History Holy Spirit Homicide Honesty House Humble Humility Hypocrisy Immorality Inherit Insecurity Insight Instructing Integrity Internet Interview Inventions Isaac Israel Jacob Jairus James Jealousy Jeremiah Jeroboam Jerusalem Jesus Christ Jesus Jewish Law Jewish Jobs Job John the Apostle Jonah Joseph Joshua Josiah Joy Judah Judaism Judas Iscariot Judges Judgmental Kindness King David King Hezekiah Kings Language Learn Liar Lies Life Lesson Lion Longevity Look Lottery Love Triangle Lowliness Luke 7 Luther Lying Manna Mark Marvel Mary Matthew Media Men Mindset Mocking Monopoly Moody Morality Mordecai Morning Moses Mouths Natural Disaster Naughtiness Nehemiah New Tricks Noah Nobles Numbers O.J. Simpson Observation Old Dogs Parenting Passion Pastors Paul the Apostle Paul Perspective Perverse Perversion Peter Pharoah Philippians Plant Pleasure Polygamy Poor Popularity Potiphar's Wife Potiphar\'s Wife Potiphar\\\'s Wife Potiphar\\\\\\\'s Wife Prate Prating Pregnancy Pregnant Princes Principal Thing Principal Procrastinate Procrastinator Profit Prophecy Prophet Prosperity Gospel Prostitute Protests Proverbs Proverb Psalm 21 Psalm 35 Psalm 37 Psalms Psalm Punishment Pure Purity Purpose Rachel Rage Rebekkah Rehoboam Rehoboma Relationship Remember Reprove Reputation Research Resume Resurrection Revealing Rich Man Rich Ridicule Road Rulers Rules Sadness Samson Samuel Satan Saul Scale Scam Science Scientist Scripture Sea of Galilee Seasons Seed Self-Confidence Selfishness Shakespeare Shame Shane Gaskill Shenandoah Valley Shoe Laces Sickness Silence Simon Peter Simon Social Media Solomon Song of Solomon Sons Sorrow Source Speaking Speak Speech Sporting Sport Spouses Steal Stephen Strange Woman Strength Stress Surely Surety Swatting Sweat Talkative Talking Tamar Taylor Teachers Teaching Teenagers Teens Tendency Theft Timothy To be or not to be Toddlers Tolerance Tongue Tour Guide Travel Treasure Trickery Trinity Trips True Love True Wisdom Turner Tyler Barriss Understanding Unforgiveness Unhealthy Universities Upright Value Vehicle Vengeance Virtuous Walk Watsom Way of Life Way Weight Winking Wink Wise Men Witnessing Womb Women Work Ethic Worth YouTube Zechariah addiction adultery advertisements advertiser advertising advice advisor affection affirmation aggression alcohol amos angels anointing ant anxiety appetite argument assumption as attractions authority background backyard bankrupt battle beginning birds bitterness blessed brain bright broken nose buckler campfire cardinal sins career carelessness car cause certainty charity chastening childhood childrearing children child choices church attendance church command confidence confident consequences considerate contention contentment conversaion correction counselor counsel covetousness criticism cruelty cynicism dads dad darkness dark daughter debt deception decisions defend defense demands destruction determination diamonds diligence direction disappointment discernment discipleship disciples disciple discipline discontentment discord discretion distractions distress doctrine dogs drinking drugs dying ear education effort emotions employee employer employment enemies enticement enticing envy equity evil communications evil men evil women evil example eyelids eyes ezekiel facts failure fairness faith family fathers father favor fear of God fear feelings feminine fighting fight filthy finances fire flattery focus following foolishness foolishnes fools fool forgiveness fornication friends future gambling gender gold good men good government grace greed guard guilt happiness happy harm hate headlights health heart hear holiness home honor hope hunger husbands husband ignorance illustration income inequality infidelity influence iniquity insomnia instincts instruction intimacy investigation isaiah issued issue jewelry judgment justice just kidnapper kidney kids knowledge labor law of sowing and reaping laziness lazy leadership learning legacy length of days lessons let life light lips listening listen little liver living loans loneliness long life love lucifer lust man marketing marriage math memorization memory mercy messenger millions mind ministry mischief misery mistakes mom money mothers mother motive mouth movies nature necklace neck neighbor obscenity observant oil oppression oppressor organs ornaments parable paranoia parenthood parents parent pastoring path peace peer pressure peers peer permission personification pleasant politician ponder pornography pottymouth poverty power prayer preservation pride priests private procrastination prodigal profanity prosperity prostitution protection protect prudence public restroom purchases reading reaping reason rebellion rebuke regret rejection relate relationships relevant remedy remembrance remorse repetition replacement reproof respect responsibility responsible retain retention riches righteousness righteous risk robber romance rubies safety sailor salvation schools scorner secret security seduction seeing see self-sufficiency self-sufficient serpent seven deadly sins seven sexist sexual sin sex silver simple simplicity sinners sin skepticism slander sleeplessness sleep slothfulness sluggard smoke to the eyes smoke son soul sowing spleen spouse stability stranger strange strife striving successful success suicide talents talk taxes teacher television temptation tendencies thief thieves thinking think thoughtfulness thoughts thought threats time tithe tree of life trust truth tv vehicles vice video games vinegar to the teeth vinegar violence violent virtue virtuous woman visual voice of God voice vulgar walking war wealth well wickedness wicked wife will wine wisdom wise sayings wise wives woman word of God words workplace work worry young man young people young youth