“Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.”
We often hear about the importance of doctrine, and the importance of following it. However, rarely, if ever, do you hear of the importance of a father’s doctrine. Doctrine is simply a principle, position or truth that is taught and is expected to be followed. The verse above talks about a father’s doctrine and the importance of not forsaking it. Proverbs 4 teaches seven doctrines that a child should follow.
The first doctrine that is taught is to listen to your parents. The father says in the verse above, “Hear, ye children, the instruction…” You will never be able to obey the instruction your parents give you if you are not listening to them. You mustn’t become so arrogant that you think you know everything. The child who always has listening ears will never miss the instructions of a parent that will preserve them from life’s heartaches.
The second doctrine that is taught is to get wisdom. The father emphatically says in verse 4, “Get wisdom…” The only way you gain wisdom is through instruction, and the only way you will get instruction is to listen. Your parents have the wisdom of life that can propel you to do far more than they ever could have done if you will listen and follow their wisdom.
The third doctrine that is taught is to be careful about the paths you choose in life. If you will listen to your parent’s instruction, you will gain the wisdom and discernment to choose the right paths of life. Don’t allow yourself to think you know better than your parents and choose to go a different path in life. Your parents love you, and let their wisdom guide you to choose God’s pathway of life.
The fourth doctrine is to follow your parent’s teachings. Verse 20 teaches of the importance of attending to the words of your parents. My friend, what your parents have taught you may seem to be old-fashioned and out-of-date, but their old-fashioned teachings have been proven. Don’t follow the untested doctrine of progressive thinkers who embrace change over consistency and proven truth and methods.
The fifth doctrine to follow is to guard your heart. This father knew the importance of the heart and how it influences everything you do. What you read and listen to, and who your friends are will determine what your heart pursues. If you don’t want your heart to take you places that will destroy your life, you would be wise to guard your heart from influences that will destroy you.
The sixth doctrine to follow is to guard your mouth. What you say will eventually indict you or validate you and what you are trying to do. Always be aware of the fact that everything you say will be used against you. Also, everything you say will eventually be revealed. You would be wise to guard what you say at all times because it will eventually come out.
The seventh doctrine to follow is to guard your eyes. My friend, don’t let your eyes see something that will lead you to temptation and sin. Guard your eyes with every ounce of energy you have. If you never see the wrong thing, you will never be exposed to sin, and if you are not exposed to sin, you will never commit the sin that will destroy you.