I love the book of Proverbs. I read it all the time. No matter what I might be studying, I always like to read Proverbs (and Psalms as well). Many nights, Proverbs is the Book of the Bible that I read to my son before his bedtime. It is filled with great insight and wisdom for living a righteous life in everything you do on earth. God gave this wisdom and insight to Solomon, son of David, king of Israel at that time, and with that wisdom he penned the Book of Proverbs.
My son is eight years old. He just started third grade this year. He hit a growth spurt over the summer, and he is much taller and stronger. He is a smart kid, and very witty and funny. He likes theater and he can really ham it up! I love that about my son, but sometimes he has a tendency to not take things as seriously as he should…and that gets him into trouble.
He has been learning hard lessons about respect and a good name at school. I have told him many times, “Son, salvation is a free gift from God, but you have to earn respect.” I tell him to act right and listen and watch what you say because people will know you by how you live your life. I tell him to not hang out with foolish kids who act wild because he will end up getting hurt or in trouble. Sometimes he hangs out with kids at school that are well known trouble makers, and I have had to share Proverbs 13:20 with him many times. So much so he knows it by heart now. I tell him these things because of the mistakes, sins, and trials I have been through in my life, and I want him to be victorious and live in peace with the Lord.
“He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”
He has been doing great and we are very proud of him for his effort and dedication in his school work. He is not a trouble making kid, and my wife and I make sure of that. With that said, a few weeks ago, he was caught messing around in the school bathroom and I received a call from the principal. It wasn’t too bad, and he got off with a warning. Then last week I received another call from the principal. Apparently, my son was trying to flush a locker lock down the toilet. I was in the middle of writing a piece when I got that call around 2 p.m., and I had to go pick him up early because the principal sent him home. He is blessed he wasn’t suspended. The principal was mad because he could have damaged the entire plumbing system.
He lost his bathroom privileges at school, and now he can only use the bathroom in the nurses office. The school security guard and the principal both talked to him about trust, and now they are watching him more closely. He lost his good name. It was a hard day for my son.
We were upset with him and disappointed, but he is learning valuable lessons from this. Mainly, that a good name is worth a lot. He does not like dishonor, he does not like the feeling of losing the respect he had, and he is working hard to earn it back. My son is well liked in school by all the teachers and his fellow classmates, and he wants to keep it that way. He is a kind kid who is nice to everyone (even the foolish ones!)
He has been more focused at school the last week, and he is back on track to earning that respect back. Last night, I opened the Book of Proverbs and turned to chapters 21 and 22. I prayed for our time and I prayed over my son, and then I read these Scriptures to him:
“A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.”
“A man who strays from the path of understanding comes to rest in the company of the dead.”
“He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.”
“Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life.”
My son was listening intently as I read each verse. When I had finished, he looked up at me with such a deep look of understanding I knew he was having an epiphany! I said, “Do you understand now son?” He looked deep into my eyes, shook his head yes, and smiled real big. “Keep earning that respect son,” I said warmly, and with that, I patted him on the back, put my arm around him, and prayed for him.
As I prayed for him, I prayed those verses over myself and our family as well. It is not only eight year old little boys who need the wisdom of God found in Proverbs. We would all do well to take heed of those verses and strive to live them out!
“May we all keep a good name in Christ, never stray from the path of understanding, fear the Lord with humble hearts, and pursue righteousness and love all the days of our lives, in the Name of Jesus, Amen!”
Grace and peace to you all!