1 Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.3 For I too was a son to my father, still tender, and cherished by my mother. 4 Then he taught me, and he said to me, Proverbs 4:1, 3-4
When I was a child, one of my favorite visits was to may grandfather’s home. He was a big man standing nearly 6’3”. His choice of clothing was usually blue Levi overalls. There was a middle pocket over the chest which allowed him to carry his pocket watch that had a train impression on the case. I would climb into his lap and place my head upon his chest so that I could listen to the watch tick. We would open the watch look at the time and numbers. Then he would let me wind the clock back up. It’s a memory that all of his 28 grandchildren were able to enjoy…just not at once.
Solomon is highlighting the importance of generational learning. He is talking to his sons about the wisdom that he gained from his father. Several mentions need to be made first, then some applications.
- Some of you have never met your grandparents for they died before you were born or while you were still little. This was probably true of Solomon’s children. King David passed away and then Solomon became King and then famous for his wisdom which God gave as a gift to him.
- Some of you have also lost one or both of your parents at a young age. God becomes a father to the fatherless by sending others into your life and speaking directly to you in special ways that only a Father can.
- Every child is placed into a family by God. Within each parent God has treasures stored up that are uniquely designed to shape the character of their child. Parents can hurt their child emotionally and physically by not following God’s order for life, but that does not diminish the potential reservoir of life knowledge that a parent has been gifted for their child. The parent has everything needed to point their child in God’s direction.that each specific child needs to become a follower of God
Observations about generational learning
- Children are most impressionable when young. Talk with them often about stories from your own childhood. Include what life was like for your parents, not just your experience.
- Honor your parents. No parents were perfect, but we are still called to honor them. Ask God to help you find the hidden treasures that were passed down to you from your parents amid some of the hard stuff that you endured.
- Ask God to help you forgive and stop judging your parents. Yes they did wrong. But judging them stops the flow of blessing that you can give to your child. Ask God to give you memories that honor your parents. Were they faithful workers? Could they tell a good story? Were they gifted in a particular skill or trade?
- Evaluate their wisdom nuggets with God’s word. Capturing some of their sayings and mannerisms are fun, but not all are truly wise from God’s perspective. Don’t feel bound to try to live what is not scriptural. Here is a personal example of one that was good. ‘You have time, for what you REALLY want to make time for.”
- Even though teaching a child young is best, it is never too late to bridge the gaps of the generations. Kids, even as adults, want to know how you were shaped as a person and where they came from as a family.
You possess the baton of the generation before you. It is a joy and privilege that only you carry about your parents and grandparents. The baton is passed during quality time and inside of conversation. Share your life.
Blessings Love y’all