Helping Fathers Raise Lovers of God

Father Daughter ImageQuestion:

How do we as fathers of sons and daughters help our children to become lovers of God, lovers of wisdom, and lovers of righteousness?

Answer:

Let’s examine the Scripture and see how the process took place in Solomon’s life.

1 Kings 3:6-12 says that Solomon asked God for wisdom (an understanding heart to judge God’s people) and the ability to distinguish between good and evil. He was raised in the last years of David’s kingship and he saw the very real consequences of David not having lived according to biblical principlesin the raising of his other sons. His actual request begins in verse 9.

And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day.And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”

10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11 And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right,12 behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you.

How did this desire for wisdom occur in his heart? What were the soveregn foundations and models that caused him to desire this and to ask God in prayer for these things?

Proverbs 4:3-9, gives us picture of at least part of the answer.

Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;
         love her, and she will guard you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
         and whatever you get, get insight.
Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;
         she will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place on your head a graceful garland;
         she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”        (ESV)

Lessons to Apply

  1. Father’s must model a search for wisdom in their own lives.
  2. Father’s must be actively involved in teaching children a the youngest ages.
  3. Father’s must not let past failures dissuade them from this task.
    (The backdrop for Solomn’s instruction by David, is the wickednes of Daivid older son, Solomon’s step-brothers. See, 2 Samuel 12-20).
  4. Have a plan. Work the plan.

Cf. also:

Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching,

Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight,

My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching.

A wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

A fool despises his father’s instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.

Do not forsake your friend and your father’s friend, . . .

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