The Instruction of Your Father
“My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother.” Prov. 1:8 NKJV
IAs Father’s Day approaches, I have been thinking about my dad and some of the advice he gave me growing up. Since my dad was a long-distance truck driver and not around every day, my mom was the main disciplinarian. You could sum up his advice to me as a kid as follows: “Jeffie, just do what your momma tells you to do.”
As I got older, my dad would give me advice from time to time. He was not a Christian until I graduated high school, so his advice had to do with mostly nonspiritual matters. Sometimes I followed his advice and sometimes I did not. Most of his advice was to help me avoid some of the mistakes he made.
In the Bible, the book of Proverbs is a collection of instruction and practical advice for daily living. The book is attributed to Solomon, who is called the wisest man. Many scholars believe Solomon may have authored this book later in life so he could give instructions to his children. Like my dad, some of the advice seems to be given so that they do not make the same mistakes he made.
In Proverbs 1:8 Solomon writes: “My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother.” The word translated “hear” has the same meaning as listen and obey. It is one thing to hear the instruction, but it is effective only if you obey.
Solomon, in all his wisdom, did not always follow his own advice. It does not mean the advice was not good advice. It just means the advice was not acted upon.
Part of the problem with our culture today is the lack of fathers in the lives of children. Without a father, they are left to follow advice from others, many of whom do not have their best interest at heart. If you are a dad, the best thing you can do is to be honest with your kids when you share your advice.
Our heavenly Father gives us perfect advice. His instruction for us is always good and right. His advice does not come from the mistakes He made, but because He knows we are human and will make mistakes.
My dad made mistakes. I have made mistakes. Solomon made mistakes. His sons and grandsons after him made mistakes. All those mistakes were placed on the cross. The best advice any of us can give is the advice to follow Christ as your Savior and Lord.
I love you and it is a privilege to be your pastor.