Son, oh son! May you fear the Lord!
Long for him as silver! Seek his reward!
He offers all that is worth achieving:
Righteousness, justice, equity . . . breathing.
May you not be a man of perverted talk,
Forsaking goodness for a darkened walk!
May you avoid the woman of things forbidden.
Who destroys her prey by vows forgotten!
Son, I pray, that your way be pure;
Make God your treasure and long endure.
This poem and its imagery is a paraphrase of Proverbs 2. I encourage you to read the chapter for the following progression:
1. Longing for wisdom which is really longing for God
2. Living in purity and righteousness before God
3. Living away from impurity and unrighteousness
4. Living in the permanent blessing of God
The priority of every father should be that his child learn to love and fear the Lord as his source for everything. The goal of Christian education is not primarily academic excellence or career success. It is godliness (a person whose heart is truly set on God) and wisdom (the resultant skill to live life to the glory of God). Proverbs 2 demonstrates these priorities. Of course, it is only through the gospel of Christ that these things can be achieved, but these are the goals.
Another desire that every father has for his child is safety. Every single night, a godly parent prays two things: “Lord, make my child godly and wise!” and “Lord, watch over and protect my child!” This chapter shows that these two things are connected. Though the proverbs repeatedly demonstrate that there are practical, here-and-now benefits to godliness and wisdom, ultimately the security of the godly is in God’s eternal kingdom. Verses 21-22 point to the ultimate permanence of the people of God.
This all means that the prayers for godliness and wisdom and the prayers for protection are two related parts to one main prayer: “Lord, save my child!” This prayer is answered first through the resurrection of a dead spirit which makes a person become godly and wise. Then it is answered through the resurrection of a dead body which makes a person permanently and comprehensively indestructible for eternity.
Those are my goals for my children. I want them to be godly, wise, and indestructible. What about you?