The Ten Commandments appear to be divided into two sections: four of them teach the importance of honoring God, and six of them teach us to honor mankind. The fifth commandment would logically appear at the bottom of the first tablet. It is the first commandment that contains a promise: “Honor your father and mother so that you may live long (and in peace) in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” These words are echoed in Colossians: “Children, obey your parents in all things, for this pleases God.”
Perhaps it would be “wise” to clear up the phrase, “My son,” in verse eight. If we acknowledge that Proverbs was written for all mankind who acknowledge God as their Lord and follow His teachings, then everyone, no matter their age, would be included in “My son.”
Since this is written to “children,” it would be good to remind ourselves that the main characteristic of “youth” is vulnerability. The young would disagree with parents who would say that they are ignorant of the ways of the world and have no foresight or insight to see the results or consequences of their behavior. They need stern, loving advice, and warnings from parents who “walk their talk” and have the best interests of their children at heart. No one has more responsibility for the wellbeing and development of their children than their parents.
But there are other “parents” who are also guilty of neglecting “children.” Mature Christians are responsible for “the new-born Christian.” This verse is an indictment on all of us who have allowed the “young in Christ” to face temptation, unarmed with the Word of God.
Prayer: Lord, forgive us for being negligent in instructing the young at home and in church. We need forgiveness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Today’s Bible Verse: Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Proverbs 1:8