“My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you,” (Proverbs 3:1-2 NKJV).
For any child of parents who hold to biblical parenting techniques, this verse is quite familiar, though it may be the first time you’ve read this particular version. The verse is found among the ten commandments and again in Paul’s writings to the Ephesians. The war cry of every parent of children, the father in Proverbs repeats this call at least once in every chapter where he speaks.
The question of every child, I believe, is why? Why is it so vitally important that children obey their parents?
Unfortunately, the only answer given by so many God-fearing parents is the rod of correction. Correction, for correcting foolishness, not for driving a hunger for knowledge and understanding far from the child.
I would say, for consideration, that such a response to that question reflects an inaccurate, incomplete understanding of the purpose of Proverbs. Namely, to increase knowledge and understanding, to give wisdom to the simple, as laid out in the first six verses.
Many verses in Proverbs seem to stand alone, but no verse in the Bible is meant to be complete in itself. Scripture interprets Scripture. Read and consider the entirety of Proverbs before cherry-picking favorite quotable verses.
Children, especially as they enter their teens, tend to express it very badly, but why is a valid question. Even better, it is one with an answer. Two, in fact. Why should children obey their parents?
First, and most important, because doing so will result in a long life with peaceful days.
This is, after all, the first commandment with a promise. A promise, not a curse.
Second, because fools despise correction. And fools do not end well.
The father gives the son a lot of practical advice, especially in the third chapter. Without fail, for each bit of advice, the father also gives the why. Mostly the promise part of the why, unless he is specifically talking of the wicked or the immoral. Even then, he never neglects the promise part of the why along with the warning.
So to wrap things up:
There’s no need to be afraid of children asking why. And warnings always come with promises.
Many thanks to Redwinged Raven for this article! She has more great content on Youtube. Check it out!
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