Proverbs 7:6-7

Proverbs 7:6-7 "For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding..."
Christian Church Buffalo NY
One of the biggest mistakes teachers are of guilty of is not making their lessons RELEVANT.  If a young student doesn’t see math in everyday life, then that student will show little to no interest in lessons on math.  If a child doesn’t see history outside the classroom, then that child will care little about what is taught inside the classroom.  This is a teenage student’s greatest complaint when it comes to education.
“What is the point of learning about 16th Century Literature?  I’m never going to talk or write like that.”  
“Why do I have to learn chemistry or geometry?  I’m not going to use either of these when I go to the grocery store.”

This complaint doesn’t apply only to secular education – it applies to religious education as well.  This problem doesn’t exist only in schools – it also exists in our churches and in our Christian homes.  Pastors, Sunday School Teachers and especially Christian parents make the same mistake when teaching the Bible and lessons on morality.  We can be guilty of teaching a Bible story that happened thousands of years ago but never make it RELEVANT.  We can be especially guilty of telling our kids what they should do and what they shouldn’t do but never put it in RELAVENT TERMS.

The wise teacher of Proverbs 7 did not make this common mistake.  The wise father of Proverbs 7 would not waste the ear of his son and jeopardize the future of his son by failing to make critical counsel RELEVANT.  Solomon knew what his son was thinking when hearing about the counsel to call wisdom “his sister” and understanding “his kinswoman.”  Having been young once, he knew Rehoboam would be thinking, “Do I really need these virtues?” “Are there really that many evil women out there?” “Does my dad think that women are that smart and I’m that dumb that I couldn’t spot a fake?” “Dad, don’t you think you’re being overprotective and overcautious?”

Solomon could go on and on about the importance of wisdom but if his son wasn’t convinced of its RELEVANCE, then all of Solomon’s words would be in vain.  He could warn his son of all the danger in the world but if he didn’t put it in RELEVANT TERMS, Rehoboam wouldn’t take it seriously.  The bulk of this chapter is Solomon making wisdom RELEVANT and he would do that by telling a personal story.  Solomon took the lesson of the classroom and made it RELEVANT by telling a story that occurred outside the classroom.  By pointing to a specific event with very specific details, the teacher answered the student’s silent natural questions about relevance.  By telling a story about what he personally observed, the father’s counsel became relevant to his young son.

Parents need to make lessons on morality and virtue relevant to their children. To do this, fathers and mothers need to be observant to the world in which their children are living.  Solomon wasn’t consumed with only those things that pertained to his adult life.  He wasn’t observing only those people or circumstances that impacted his older lifestyle.  He was looking out his window at a world that his son could relate to.  He was looking at the “youths” so he could understand better those things that his son could relate to.  He observed the world his children were growing up in so he could relate spiritual truths to that for them.  By doing this, Solomon instantly made wisdom more pertinent and important to Rehoboam.

Parents, look out your window at the world your children are growing up in.  It may not look like the same world you grew up in.  Even though human nature hasn’t changed, culture and society has changed.  Even though the nature of sin and temptation isn’t any different from when you were a child, the packaging is different.  Observe your child’s world so you can make spiritual truths relevant for them.  Share pertinent stories of your youth but don’t overlook the need to make it relevant to their youth.  Share pertinent stories of your adulthood but don’t fail to make it relevant to their childhood.

By nature and due to inexperience, the younger we are, the less serious we take matters of responsibility and morality.  Kids think wisdom is reserved for adulthood. Teenagers think virtue is irrelevant to adolescence.  Young people see moral responsibility as something they don’t need to think about until they grow up.  For these simple reasons, our children naturally don’t see the relevance of Biblical lessons and instruction.  Stories of personal observation and experience about young people ruining their lives helps make Biblical instruction relevant sooner.  Harvest these stories by being observant of families, friends, co-workers, neighbors and strangers.  See these stories wherever and whenever you can.  Our generation of parents today has the advantage of observing the entire world through a screen.  We can tell our children stories we’ve learned by watching the news and by watching documentaries.  This past year of news coverage alone has given parents a wealth of information to make Biblical principles relevant to their children.

Parents, it’s not good enough to simply REHEARSE Biblical instruction to our precious sons and daughters.  If our Biblical instruction is going to have any positive impact on our kids, we must RELATE that instruction to their young lives as they see them.  

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