Family is the ultimate picture of God’s love. In The Thirty Sayings of the Wise, Solomon offered four pillars to construct a firm foundation for a God-honoring, loving home. The first is learning. Israel’s wise king commanded young leaders: “Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge” (Proverbs 23:12). Learning was so valued by Solomon that it was one of his twelve purposes of Proverbs (see Proverbs 1:5). Solomon invited the wise to be motivated to learn, to seek knowledge, to soak it up, and to store up God’s commands in order to lean on Him (see Proverbs 22:17-19). God builds this foundation of learning in the family unit that derives its name from the Father (see Ephesians 3:14-15).
Solomon revealed that a person with understanding opens the door of their heart to a teacher in their life who will coach and correct them: “He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding” (Proverbs 15:32). Understanding is insight that comes via the power of the Holy Spirit (see Proverbs 9:10). When we focus on our teaching and coaching role as a parent, as much as our career, the Holy Spirit guides us to bring understanding to our children.
In order to best teach insights in a family setting, two elements will take place: reproof and rebuke. The word reproof stems from the Hebrew word yakach, which means “to prove again.” Solomon advised: “Strike a scoffer and the naïve may become shrewd, but reprove one who has understanding and he will gain knowledge” (Proverbs 19:25 NASB). A reproof demonstrates again the teacher’s desired response, allowing a person with understanding to retain knowledge that sticks. Solomon observed that when the teacher escalates the correction to the form of a rebuke (gearah from gaar in Hebrew) or a reprimand, the person with understanding responds to the stiffer consequences through the door of his heart: “A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding than a hundred blows into a fool” (Proverbs 17:10 NASB). Jesus, our ultimate Teacher, reproved and rebuked His disciples. All the while, He was fully connected with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Teach your children. Each morning, pray with them: “God, please let us to be motivated to learn like scholars, dig like miners, soak like sponges, and recall like warehouses.” You will establish a legacy they will pass along to their children who will learn that family derives its name from their Heavenly Father.