Monday, May 7, 2012

Revisiting ~ Proverbs 1 ~ Obedience and Long Life

Photo Copyright 2010 Alycia W. Morales
“My son, hear the instruction of your father,
And do not forsake the law of your mother;
For they will be a graceful ornament on your head,
And chains about your neck.”
~ Proverbs 1:8-9

We lived in an apartment on Main Street. I used the local laundromat to wash our clothes. I pulled our minivan up next to the building, which also housed the local supermarket. The east branch of the Delaware River ran alongside the building, and several parking spaces ran next to the river.

“Zach, you need to stay in the van. I’m going to unload the laundry, and I’ll be right back. We’ll go in together after I park the van,” I instructed my nine-year-old stepson. “I don’t want you to get hurt. It’s very important that you don’t get out of the car. We’re in a parking lot.”

Upon returning for the third and final basket, I noticed Zach no longer sat in his seat. I turned around, looking for his whereabouts. He’d gone over to the guard rail to watch the river and throw a rock or two into the swirling water below.

“Zachary, I told you to stay in the van. Get over here, now!”

As he turned to face me, a local redneck raced into the parking lot in his blue beat-up pick-up truck. To my horror, he whipped into the parking space where my step-son stood. Zach’s face went white as the guy slammed on his brakes, put his truck into park, and stepped out. He never glanced at my step-son or apologized for his obnoxious driving. He stumbled drunkenly from his vehicle and kept right on going, as if he hadn’t nearly taken out a child.

Zach ran back over. I explained to him in a calm but firm tone how important it was he listened to me. I wasn’t trying to restrict him by keeping him in the van; I was trying to protect him from people like that and potential harm.

I find it interesting that God uses one of the Ten Commandments to begin the book of Proverbs. I repeat instructions to my children over and over again, because I’m trying to make certain they’ve heard me and will remember what I’ve taught them. I instruct them for their safety. It can be as simple as saying, “Don’t forget to brush your teeth,” promoting good health practices. It can be as difficult as saying, “Don’t accept candy from a stranger,” protecting them from people who might harm them. Either way, I desire for my children to have long and healthy lives. I work on training them up in the way that they should go, so when they’re old they won’t depart from it. (See Proverbs 22:6)

When we honor and obey our parents, we remain under their protection. When we step out from under their authority in our lives, we step out from God’s protection as well. Our disobedience to them is our disobedience to God. He provided parents for us to learn from and experience His love through. When we obey our parents and God, we have a far better chance at having a long and meaningful life. We save ourselves from heartaches and disappointments along the way.


  1. What a scary moment that must have been! But how many times have I done the same thing when I didn't listen to what God was telling me? Hmmmm...

  2. Gosh, my heart nearly stopped when I read your story. If God was capable of feeling fear, I bet some of my stupidness might have made Him gasp.

    Thanks, Alycia.


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