By Shelly Burke
Author, Home is Where the Mom Is: A Christian Mom's Guide to Caring for Herself, Her Family, and Her Home
Editor and Publisher Nebraska Family Times
(The posts for the A to Z Blogging Challenge will focus on teaching kids lessons from selected Bible verses. Adapt your teaching to the age of the kids you’re talking with.)
Begin your discussion by asking, Do you always like to listen to what other people (parents, teachers, pastors) tell you? (Most likely the answer will be “NO!”) Why don’t you like to listen to them? (You will probably hear; Sometimes they tell you to do things I don’t want to do; sometimes they tell me not to do things I want to do!)
Read this verse: “Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching.” (Proverbs 4:1-2) What does it tell you to do? Listen to your father’s instruction (this includes mothers, teachers, and others as well). Why should we listen? So that we might gain insight—adults know things, through their experience and knowledge, that kids don’t. What are precepts? Truths that were passed from generation to generation in the Bible—in other words, things that people had found over and over to be true.
The Bible also tells us that “A fool despises his father’s instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.” (Proverbs 15:5) What does “whoever heeds reproof is prudent” mean? Whoever listens to correction is smart (because the people who correct you usually know more—through experience or because they’ve lived longer—than you). Sometimes it’s hard not to get angry when you hear reproof, but remember that most of the people in your life are doing it because they want to protect you from being hurt, and want to help you become a better person.
Here’s another example of what the Bible says about instruction: “Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.” (Proverbs 15:32) What does this mean? If you don’t listen to instruction, you must not like yourself—because you don’t want to learn or make yourself better. When you listen to instructions, you become smarter!
Here’s another verse that tells how important it is to listen to instruction: “Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.” (Proverbs 4:13) When you hear instructions, listen and remember. In some cases this could save your life. Some of the instructions in the Bible (for example, “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved”) can determine where you will spend your eternal life.
Consider ending your discussion by asking everyone to share the most valuable piece of instruction they’ve received.
Dear God, I can see how important it is for me to learn Your instruction as well as listen to the instructions of my parents and other leaders. Please help me to not become angry when I am corrected, but to listen to instruction. Amen.