Goals for Instruction
“To give subtlety to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.”
Having seen the parent’s goals for his own life, we come now to his goals for instruction. The object of parents is to “give subtlety…knowledge and discretion.” Note the progression of verbs in Proverbs 1:2–4: to know, to perceive, to receive, and to give. First, we must have an intimate knowledge (experiential knowledge) of the Lord (true wisdom). Second, we must understand the implications of that wisdom. Third, we must be possessed by that wisdom. Finally, we must instill that same wisdom in our children.
Until we know, perceive, and are possessed by True Wisdom, we have nothing to give to our children. We can fuss and force; we can chastise and coerce. But until we know, perceive, and are saturated with God, we cannot impart wisdom to our children.
Give is a translation of the Hebrew word meaning “to practice, teach, or share.” We can only share what we have experienced. We can only teach our children what we know, understand, and are possessed by. True instruction is far more than dispensing information! A parent IS the lesson! Jesus shared His life and His heart with His disciples. They became learners of Him.
Notice the recipients of this sharing: “the simple” and “the young man.” The word simple means those who through lack of experience do not yet fully comprehend or understand. We often accuse youth of ungodliness, when, in reality, they only lack maturity. We sometimes misinterpret immaturity as rebellion. It takes patience and transparency to share with the inexperienced and the immature. Do you have the patience and honesty to share your life, your heart, and your experiences (failures and triumphs) in your daily walk? Transparency alone will give “subtlety to the inexperienced” and “knowledge and discretion” to the young.
Final thought: Make it your goal today to share one failure and one triumph in your walk with the Lord with your children.