Proverbs 22:6 New King James Version (NKJV) 6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

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1 1 of 13 Walking in Wisdom - Proverbs 22 By Bruce Stewart Before we even begin to open up our bibles and walk in wisdom lets take a moment to pray. Ask God to reveal Himself in these scriptures, to help you understand and apply the knowledge and truths found within. Read Proverbs 22 Proverbs 22:6 6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Teaching our children to have a relationship with Jesus and His love and His ways is THE most important thing we can teach them. Children need to know they are loved, we all know that is essential. However, just as important for children is to know that they are loved by God. See, as parents we can often be seen as the bad guys, as the ones who set rules, who discipline and who seem to be nagging to get things done. However, if a child knows God, then no matter what their thoughts towards us, no matter what age they are,

2 2 of 13 they will know that they are loved unconditionally if we have taught them the love of Jesus. I cannot overstate how important this is. Many adult Christians struggle with their identity in Christ because they were never taught who they are in Him. They may have been told that He loves them but they may have equated that love to something that was conditional. We as parents must explain to our children that Gods love is not conditional. It is not based on the child s behavior. We are to teach them, whether their behavior is good or bad that God loves them so much that He sent His only son Jesus to die for them. You can still explain that God doesn t like sin but that is BECAUSE He loves us. He created us and therefore knows how to make us successful and blessed in every area of our life. We need to follow His plan. However, this has no bearing whatsoever on how He loves us. That is unchanging. Our children should be taught these scriptures at a very early age and if you haven t it is never too late to start. John 3:16 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did

3 3 of 13 not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. Hebrew 13:8 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Once children know they are loved by God then they begin to be secure in who they are in God. We need to remind them of who they are. That they are children of the most high King (Psalm 82:6). The creater of the universe made them perfectly (Psalm 139:14). That God does not make mistakes with how He created them. That He has a plan for their life and that He listens to us when we speak to Him (Jeremiah 29:11-13). When a child is confident of their identity in Jesus and in their relationship with Jesus then they understand that no matter what life throws at them as they get older that they can trust God. Teaching our children to have faith and trust God is also extremely important. When they know they can have faith in a God that they cannot see and trust Him then they will be far more willing to obey Him.

4 4 of 13 As parents, we need to share with our kids the testimonies of the faithfulness of God and His blessing towards us. Let them know of the times that were tough and how God got you through. Let them hear of answered prayers. Let them know the times when you had to sep out in faith and God did what He said He would do. Pray with your children and have them pray for you. We have created a culture in our house that if someone is sick then we gather and pray for them. Many times my children have prayed and seen me recover from illness. Their expectation of God is that He is a God who miraculously heals. They don t know any different so that has become their normal. Praise and worship God and give thanks with your children so that they recognize God as their source as well as yours. Explain that you have a job, an income, a car, clothes on your back, furniture, travel etc because God has graciously provided all those things. As you explain to children that your job is not your source but God is they too will learn to depend on Him.

5 5 of 13 There are many more things I could say about raising children in the ways of the Lord but I want to finish with teaching them to love the word of God and to know His voice. I will finish with teaching you how to help them to do this; Grab a children s bible and before you open it, pray a prayer along these lines: Dear Jesus, help us to know You better, help us to hear Your voice and speak to us through Your word. Please help us to love You and to show us Your love for us. In Jesus name we ask. Then open the bible in the gospels where Jesus speaks. Remember, you want to read from their bible so they can understand it. The ask them questions about what they read. For example, What do you think Jesus meant by what He said? How does that affect you? Often the answers children give are not the exact words of the bible. Then when they talk about it they will put it in their own words how it applies to them. Here is the key, after they tell you ask them this simple question, Who told you that because that is right (if they are right)? Then explain that is God speaking to you through His word! Children realize then that God can speak to them and they did t even know it was Him.

6 6 of 13 Another way to teach them to listen to God voice is this. Ask, Have you ever felt like you wanted to do something or have been asked to do something but you didn t do it because a little voice was telling you it s wrong? Then tell them, That is God speaking! Hebrews 8:10 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Let them know that God will tell them when they are doing bad but also when they are doing good. You can tell your children, When you are doing bad you know it because you probably feel it and you probably don t want to tell your parents. When you do something good for someone, you feel good inside. That is God directing your path. You need to listen to that voice. Remind them that God sees all and knows all so nothing is hidden from Him. Not to scare them but to make them aware that God cares about every little thing they do and say.

7 7 of 13 Help them build a relationship with God before you turn Christianity into a set of do s and don ts. It is not a set of rules but a loving relationship with an almighty God who wants us to succeed. Deuteronomy 6:5-7 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. Let us look at Verse 7. Proverbs 22:7 7 The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender. The lesson to be learnt here is that if you are always borrowing money then you will always be a slave to the very person or bank you borrowed from. Car payments are a great example.

8 8 of 13 Many people purchase cars they can t afford because they think they need it when really what they need is a car that gets them from A to B. The question becomes are you buying something that you really can t afford to impress others to to serve the simple need. Having a large screen tv is nice but I don t need it but I do want it. Many financial woes can be avoided if we only bought what we needed rather than what we wanted. Here are some questions to ask yourself before borrowing money to make your next purchase. Can I afford it? Is this purchase so worth buying that I am willing to forgo other things and a certain lifestyle to get it? In other words, am I willing to give up other things because I will no longer be able to afford them? Will it cause more stress in my life to have to pay for it? Is there an item that may not be as fancy but more cost effective that will fulfill the same function? Is other peoples opinions of what I own more important than having the financial peace of not being in debt? Lastly but most importantly, before making any big purchase, pray and seek wise counsel from other Christians who can also be praying for you.

9 9 of 13 Famous Christian financial advisor Dave Ramsey always says this, Live like no other so that you can live like no other. In simple terms, buy only things you need with money you can afford right now so that later on you will have money to buy the things you want. Don t be a slave to debt as Jesus tells us He came to bring freedom. Proverbs 22:11 11 He who loves purity of heart And has grace on his lips, The king will be his friend. When you do things with good intentions and your heart is pure and you speak lovingly and with grace to others you will find favor. People will know the purity of your heart by the fruit that you bear. People with pure hearts who extend grace to others will produce good fruit. Their own lives are usually drama free although others may be falling apart around them, and they have many good friends because of their kindness. Moving on to Verse 24.

10 10 of 13 Proverbs 22:24 24 Make no friendship with an angry man, And with a furious man do not go, 25 Lest you learn his ways And set a snare for your soul. Some of you have probably heard this saying and I know I have heard it a lot as my friend Chad always repeats it to veterans he helps, Show me your friends and I will show you your future. We as people tend to imitate what is around us more often than not and usually we don t even know we are doing it. It starts very subtly but grows the more we are engaged with others. Our environment, our friends will have a big influence and impact on our lives. For example, when I moved to Texas I hated country music. After a while, I had heard so much of it from friends that I began to really enjoy it. It started with a song, then grew to a few and the next thing I know I m tuning into the country radio station. The same thing happens with friends. If you are around an angry person even though you may be peaceful yourself you may tend to pick up some of their tendencies. Slowly but surely become more and more impatient until you yourself become angry.

11 11 of 13 Take driving on the roads in Houston. If you moved here from a smaller city you were probably a fairly relaxed driver. However, the more time you spend on the roads here, you may have learn to drive quicker, be more aggressive or just become increasingly frustrated when faced with traffic. Now traffic in Houston cannot be avoided but angry friends can. Choose your friends carefully and examine their fruit. Is it someone you can help or do you have to distance yourself so that you don t pick up bad habits. Go to God, pray, ask for wisdom and ask God to give you clear direction on how to deal with those type of friends. Finally, Verse 29. Proverbs 22:29 29 Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men. This is a great piece of wisdom and scripture. If you excel at your work then you will find favor with those you work with. We all represent Jesus in our work places. As you are His representation, we have a Godly obligation to represent Him well.

12 12 of 13 We want to be a blessing in our work places and one of the best ways to do that is to excel at your job. People usually listen to the person who is gracious but is also good at what they do. Others will want to learn from you, your employers will come to depend on you and you become valuable to your company. However, more important than all of this is you represent God s Kingdom and His Lordship in your life to those in your work place. Please represent Him well. Colossians 3: Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. 23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality. Titus 2: in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an

13 13 of 13 opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you. 9 Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.

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