Proverbs, Chapter 1:
“You ignorant outfit!” If I heard that scathing remark from my red-faced-vein-in-the-forehead-about-to-explode father once when I was growing up, I heard it a couple dozen times. Obviously my childhood home wasn’t one of those touchy-feely places where mom and dad gave a whole lot of thought to my self-esteem. They were determined not to produce an offspring who turned out to be a fool—someone who is, as the Bible defines it, morally deficient.
The older I get, the more I appreciate their old-school approach. As columnist George Will writes, “Modern parents want to nurture so skillfully that Mother Nature will gasp in admiration at the marvels their parenting produces from the soft clay of children.” Not my parents; they were more concerned that one day I would stand before God, at which point all three of us—dad, mom and child—would hear, “well done, good and faithful servants.”
Whether you are doing life as a parent, or you are simply doing life as a child of God, remember that holiness is a far better attribute than happiness and fear of God outshines feeling good every time. So learn to lean into the Lord’s discipline, and help your children to embrace it, too. Put wisdom at the top of your wish list—for you and them. And if you desire for you and yours to do life well, make “the fear of the Lord” the center and the circumference of your home. Solomon said it this way in Proverbs 1:7,
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
My friend, the fear of the Lord is what enables us to do life courageously, confidently and flourishingly well—and by the way, it’s the only way that produces the kind of esteem worth having: Not self-esteem but God’s esteem!
Where there is fear of God to keep the house, the enemy can find no way to enter. ~Francis of Assisi
Your Assignment, Should You Choose To Accept It:
Read George Will’s article, “Self-Esteem, Self-Destruction”, http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2010/03/self-esteem_self-destruction.html. Also, find an opportunity as soon as possible to talk with your children about 1) what the fear of the Lord really is, and 2) the important distinction between eternal holiness and temporal happiness.