Digging into Proverbs this month prompted me to look back on a particular proverb that has long been a staple in our home.
When my kids were younger, I was a storyteller to the elementary schoolers at our church. Each Sunday, I would ask the audience, “what kind of choice do we need to make?” And every Sunday, in sing-song unison, they would quickly and loudly respond, “I need to make the wise choice!” Those words quickly became one of the main statements Bruce and I would use to guide our children as they developed their decision-making processes. I can still hear their little voices in the back of my mind.
As my kids grew older and began to change, that simple statement grew along with them. On Sunday mornings, their middle school and high school environments added Scripture to that simple statement. “Walk with the wise and become wise, the companion of fools suffers harm,” (Proverbs 13:20). Making wise choices became about more than sharing with each other or obeying Mom and Dad. It became about relationships and how the people around them can influence their decisions. This lesson came easy in many situations but proved challenging in others.
And now, with one kid out on his own, two in college, and the youngest a high school sophomore, the playing field is a lot bigger. The circumstances they face are way more challenging, bringing more consequences and sometimes more heartbreak. Foolish ways are often more enticing and seem way more fun than what wise ways offer.
Today, these words that were once a simple foundation for their hearts are now dear to my heart as I pray for them to guide my children daily. Praying for them to have self-control and live wisely helps my heart. It reminds me I can trust that God, who is so much bigger than I am, loves these children so much more than I can comprehend and has plans far greater than anything I can hope for or imagine.
What I always thought were words for their benefit, I now see, were also meant for mine . . . God is funny that way.
Question: How have you seen God change you through the process of helping someone else?
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