The first 10 chapters of the Book of Proverbs give us some insight to what fathers need to teach their children; all of which are part of spiritual wisdom.
1. Teach your children to fear God.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Fear is not cringing in horror, it’s a respect for God’s authority and Holiness.
2. Teach your children to guard their thinking; to fill their minds with pure thoughts.
Proverbs 3:3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
Take love, loyalty, faithfulness, reliability, truth, and bind them around your neck and write them on the tablet of your heart. Heart used here is a reference to the mind, and tablet is a reference to the stones the commandments were written on. So, chisel them in the stone of your mind.
3. Teach your children to obey their parents.
All through this entire section there are several statements about “hearing, and listening to his father’s instruction.” We also have the commandment to Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:2, “Honor thy father and mother.”
A child needs to learn how to submit to our authority, so that we may teach them the wisdom of God, in turn submitting to His authority.
4. Teach your children to select his friends carefully.
Proverbs 1:10 My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived, bad company corrupts good morals.
We all know about peer pressure. It can make an otherwise good kid make a mistake they he may pay for with their life. If you want to be everybody’s buddy, you’re headed for trouble. It’s better to have one good friend that knows you very well, like a brother.
5. Teach your children to control his bodily desires.
Young teens start to develop passions that can lead them down the wrong path.
Proverbs 2:16 It will save you also from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words.
Proverbs 5:3 For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil.
I know this is speaking from the point of view of the woman seducing the man, but if he is fearing God, guarding his mind, and staying away from peer pressure, he won’t get caught in certain situations. Fathers teach teach your children to stay away from sexual immorality and premarital sex. Marriage is a gift from God, to do these things before you’re married disrespects God and your future spouse.
6. Teach your children to love their spouse and enjoy being married.
Proverbs 5:18 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
This follows up on the last one. If you don’t have respect for your spouse before you’re married, you won’t afterwards. A good way to teach this is by the way you treat your wife and by the things you say. A wife is given to him by God to be his best friend and companion.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
7. Teach your children to watch what they say.
Proverbs 4:24 Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Your children need to speak the truth. Don’t say hateful things. Don’t gossip.
Proverbs 10:11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life.
Proverbs 10:13 Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning.
When words come out of your mouth, you can’t take them back – example toothpaste!
8.Teach your children a proper work ethic.
Proverbs 6:10-11 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a robber, and our need like a bandit.
Hear this: You’re going to make yourself poor if you don’t want to work.
- There are some out there that want everything but don’t want to work for it.
- Don’t confuse can’t work with won’t work.
- Have a good work ethic and you will be blessed.
9. Teach your children to manage their money.
Proverbs 3:9-10 Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
In other words, if you are generous with God, He will be generous with you. You are given money as a steward of God and you must use it at your discretion as the Lord leads.
10. Teach your children to love their neighbor.
Proverbs 3:27 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.
Matthew 22:39 Love your neighbor as yourself.
If a person is in need, and you have the power to fill that need, do it. Meeting the needs of others is part of honoring God.
Okay let’s review:
A father is a God fearing, hard working man, that loves his wife. He teaches his children to:
- Fear God
- Watch what they think
- Obey their parents
- Select their friends carefully
- Control their bodily desires
- Love their wife or husband
- Watch what they say
- Manage their money
- Love their neighbor