"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Hear, my son, your father's instruction,
and forsake not your mother's teaching,
for they are graceful garlands for your head
and pendants for your neck."
My last words concerned the benefits of disciplining our children. These words of wisdom in Proverbs 1, if followed, will eliminate the need for excessive discipline in one's life. I believe that loving parents do not delight in having to discipline their child, but will do what is necessary to see that child walk in truth. These two responsibilities must lie heavy on a parent's heart--training and discipline.
King Solomon encouraged his son to do two things that will prevent the need for excessive discipline in his life.
First and foremost, he must learn to fear the Lord. The fear of the Lord entails both fearing what will happen if one does not obey God and revering and respecting the One who is over all creation. This is the starting-off place, the beginning. Without learning to fear God, one will never learn the value of obedience to one's parents, nor will one recognize those who are trying to lead them down the path of unrighteousness. Verses 8-19 talk about the enticement of sinners. If we do not fear the Lord, we will not fear his commands, and we begin to walk down our own dangerous path.
The second words of encouragement were to obey his father's instructions and his mother's teaching. Of what benefit is this? What does a graceful garland mean to us today? A pendant about the neck? Noah Webster says that a garland is,
The most prized thing that a child can wear is the garland of obedience.
Oh, that we may all learn to fear the Lord and to obey our parents! For us who are grown, the training that our parents gave us is still that gold chain that we wear around our necks, a prize to be regarded as most precious.
If your parents are still alive, take the time to thank them for the training they gave you.
Some of you did not have parents who knew the Lord; thank them anyway for any positive thing that they encouraged in your life.
If there was nothing, if your parents did not love and train you, thank God for lifting you out of the miry clay and being a Parent to you. Our Heavenly Father cares for us and trains us through His Holy Word. Praise the Lord!
Thankful for the training I have received,