“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” ~Proverbs 1:7
I want to raise a child who is wise. If I believe what Proverbs says, I must start by teaching her to fear the Lord.
A note in my Scofield Bible defines the fear of the Lord as “reverential trust.”
What might reverence involve?
- Respecting God’s name – not using it lightly or taking it in vain
- Admiring God’s characteristics – He is holy, all powerful, all knowing, never changing
- Taking spiritual things seriously
The second part of that definition is trust. This could include the following:
- Believing that God will keep the promises He has made in His Word
- Praying confidently for my needs to be met
- Relying on God to direct my life
These are principles that I can begin talking to my children about in an age-appropriate way when they are quite young, and it’s a conversation that can continue through the years. Probably the most effective way to teach a reverential trust is by setting an example in this area myself. As I learn more of what it means to fear the Lord, I can share my personal experience with my children – and my own knowledge and wisdom will increase!
As I read the rest of Proverbs 1, I wrote out the following prayer for my daughters. It’s based on verses 8-10, 15, 29, 31, and 33.
I pray that our daughter will listen to our instruction and not forsake it. Help it to guide her and bring beauty to her life. Give her strength to overcome the temptation to sin. Don’t allow her to be drawn into the plans others make to do wrong, but give her the perception to stay away from them. Let her value wisdom and choose to fear God. Don’t leave her to her own devices, but open her heart to wisdom that she might “dwell safely and be quiet from fear of evil.”