My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother.
Proverbs 1:8 is directed at children, but it is also aimed at parents. Children are to follow their father’s instruction and their mothers’ laws. But how can a father instruct if he doesn’t understand the lessons he is to teach? Fathers have the obligation to Scripture to make sure their instruction is correct. Mothers may not make their own laws, but rather must daily seek to learn God’s laws and convey them to their children.
God gave parents a sacred responsibility-to be the leaders of their families. They are their children’s most significant teachers. Children inevitably learn from their parents. It is up to the parents to choose whether their lives teach good or evil.
Parents can only do so much, of course. Children also make personal choices daily, and environmental influences can be beyond a parent’s control. Nevertheless, a parent’s job is crucial. Let’s determine today to do the best job we can, using the Word of God as a searchlight in our souls to make sure our leadership is what God wants it to be.
Thought: I cannot control my children’s or grandchildren’s current or future choices, but I can determine, by word and example, what I teach them today.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us.
The story is told of a poor woman who traveled a great distance to talk with a famous general. She begged the general to pardon her son, who was a member of his army but had been charged under military law for a serious offense. The general said sternly that justice required her son to be put to death. The mother replied, “I’m not asking for justice; I’m begging for mercy.” The general replied that her son did not deserve mercy. The mother quickly replied, “You couldn’t give my son mercy if he had earned it, and it is mercy I am asking for.” The general granted the mother’s wish, and the son’s life was saved.
Think of the mercy of God. God had a plan for us from the beginning. Mercy was in His mind when He laid the foundation of the world. From the time that humanity first turned from Him, He offered us ways to return to Him. Finally, God sacrificed His own Son as a way of offering eternal salvation to everyone who depends on Christ’s death and resurrection to pay for our sins.
The mercy of God is incomprehensible to the human mind. The Psalms continually speak of the everlasting mercy of God. We don’t deserve it, but it wouldn’t be mercy if we did.
Thought: I will thank God today for the richness of His mercy.