1 My child, if you accept my words and treasure up my commandments within you,
2 making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;
3 if you indeed cry out for insight, and raise your voice for understanding;
4 if you seek it like silver, and search for it as for hidden treasures—
5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
7 he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk blamelessly,
8 guarding the paths of justice and preserving the way of his faithful ones.
9 Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path;
10 for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
11 prudence will watch over you; and understanding will guard you.
12 It will save you from the way of evil, from those who speak perversely,
13 who forsake the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness,
14 who rejoice in doing evil and delight in the perverseness of evil;
15 those whose paths are crooked, and who are devious in their ways.
How often have we wished that our children would just listen to us, and learn from our mistakes, gain from the wisdom we have earned over time; we may also find ourselves wondering why they cannot just see the truth of our advice and do what we say, and just feel nothing but frustration when they go their own way and make their own mistakes.
It can be frustrating to be a parent, and have all this experience and but still have to sit back and watch our kids make the same mistakes we did, despite our attempts to steer them away from trouble. But when you think about it perhaps this is how God often feels about us! After-all, God has given us clear direction on how to avoid problems and live a good life, but we do not always listen either. Not only can God’s wisdom and guidance can be found in the Proverbs the Gospels and all the other scriptures in the Bible, but also in those who write about God’s Word (like in blogs such as this one), those who preach and those who live their faith out loud on a daily basis.
Yet still, the word of God’s wisdom often falls upon deaf ears…well maybe not deaf, but ears that are just not listening!
Our world today can be so confusing: full of noise, with so many people, products, businesses, entertainers, preachers, authors, politicians, etc., vying for our attention that it is sometimes hard to hear the voice of God crying out amidst the din, making it all that hard for us to listen, or even to know what is God’s wisdom for us. If discerning the word of God can be so difficult for us, with all of the experience we have gained through our lives, then imagine how difficult it must be for our children to be able to figure out the right way to go in order to follow God’s Will in their lives! Our children just have so much to learn, and if they are teens, they are saddled with the intense emotional roller-coaster of adolescence that leaves them not only confused, but also believing that they know what is best for them, while parents do not know what they are talking about (but their friends do).
Even for younger kids it can be challenge to know what is best, as they really are just taking their first steps in life, and they too can be caught up in peer-pressure, and the mixed messages they receive from the media, parents, school, church, etc.
So what is a busy single parent to do? How to do we help our children find a direction in life, when many of them either don’t seem to want to listen, and others just become too overwhelmed in the midst of so much information being thrown at them from so many different directions? What are we to do when we also get confused in by all the noise in the world, while also being so caught up in just trying to keep our family and work-lives from falling into chaos?
Well, first of all, it is important to remember that our children are hungry for guidance…often they need and want it most when they seem to be working the hardest to push it away. This is why it is so important for us not to get too discouraged as parents, when it can feel like our kids are not paying attention to us, and to stay on message. And that message is can be very simple, as it is the truth of God’s love, and of Jesus’ simple commandment that we love one another, and love God above all else. It is the truth that can be found in the Bible, which gives us the Word of God that can cut through the noise of our world with the truth of God’s love for us, and how we are called to share that love with the world!
Secondly, in order to be able to share this message with our children it is important to remember to take care of ourselves by taking time out for prayer, meditation, as well as reading and reflecting on the scriptures; and then by sharing our faith with others through praise, education and action done in service to the church and community. Just as it is important to exercise our bodies and minds, it is also important to feed our spiritual lives. Nourishing our souls in these ways can strengthen our faith which can help us meet the many tasks and stresses that life as single parents can present to us.
By sharing our faith with our children and others, and by keeping it simple through looking to the truth of God’s Word as it comes to us through the scriptures and through other Christians, we can navigate through our confusing world and let the voice of God be heard above all the noisy din of our modern life! Where this voice is heard we are all given guidance and direction on how to seek and do the will of God: to love others and to love God above all else.
Let us Pray:
God, thank you for giving us all simple and clear directions on how to follow you. Help us to hear your voice above the noise of our world, and to share your message of love with our children and each other. Let your simple command to love each other and to love you above all else be shared to give us all a good direction in the midst of our often confusing lives. Grant us your peace and hope.