Words that Bring Life

The wise man (including the wise child) is motivated by the fear of God and the pursuit of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7; 3:11-18). This is an important lesson for children to grasp. For example, a little boy who craves praise may well grow into a husband who will be angry and disappointed when he is not constantly praised. He can easily be prone to self-pity. This can lead to a man who will be withdrawn, sullen, or even abusive. Similarly, a young woman who lives for the praise of others, becomes a target for those who would take advantage of her. Proverbs has some profound things to say about receiving criticism. Solomon warns against living for the praise of others. Learning to wisely receive criticism is a life skill that will serve you and your children well. This skill offers protection from falling prey to sexual temptations or from making poor business decisions.

If you live for human praise you will be a slave to your own self interest. Here are three verses in the Proverbs (there are many others) that will prepare you and your children to avoid the trap of living for the praise of man.

A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin. (Proverbs 6:28)

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