Proverbs 4: Good Parental Advice

Why do children of Christian parents sometimes go their own way?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 4:1–2 My children, listen to your father’s instruction. Pay attention to know what is right. You will benefit from my teaching, so listen carefully.
King James
Proverbs 4:1–2 Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.

What is the effect when children aren’t loved by their parents? How does that compare with those who are loved?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 4:3 I was the young son of my father, tenderly loved by my mother.
King James
Proverbs 4:3 For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.

How effective is the parental advice: “Do as I say, not as I do”?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 4:4–5 He taught me, saying, “Accept my guidance without reservation. Follow my advice and you will live well. Get wisdom and discernment. Remember my words and do what I say.”
King James
Proverbs 4:4–5 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.

What does it mean to “love” wisdom?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 4:6–7 Love wisdom, never forsaking what is right, and you will be safe.
Wisdom is crucial, so seek understanding and discernment with all your might.
King James
Proverbs 4:6–7 Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

How might a treasure have no value?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 4:8 Treasure wisdom and it will serve you well. Embrace wisdom, and it will embrace you, bringing you honor.
King James
Proverbs 4:8 Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.

What should we do when we feel like our wisdom is getting us nowhere?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 4:9 Wisdom will place a wreath of grace and glory upon your head.
King James
Proverbs 4:9 She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

What can a father do when his child won’t listen?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 4:10–12 Heed my instruction, my child, and you’ll live a long time. I am guiding you in wisdom, leading you in what is right.
As you walk this path, nothing can hold you back. You can run without stumbling.
King James
Proverbs 4:10–12 Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.

How much do children’s lives depend on following their parents’ instruction? What if the guidance isn’t right?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 4:13 Take hold of my instruction like your life depended on it, for it does.
King James
Proverbs 4:13 Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.

When working among unrighteous people, how can we be immune to their thoughts and actions?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 4:14–15 Don’t even think about walking with unrighteous people. Avoid the evil that wicked people do. Stay far away from their path. Turn away from their ways, and go with what is right.
King James
Proverbs 4:14–15 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.

What motivates people to do evil?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 4:16–17 Wicked people can’t sleep without doing evil, causing someone to stumble. They feast on wrongdoing and satisfy their thirst with violence.
King James
Proverbs 4:16–17 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.

What can brighten our walk with the Lord?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 3:6 Let the Lord guide everything you do, and he will keep you on the right path.
Proverbs 4:18 The path of the righteous is like a shining light that becomes brighter every day until their vision is made perfect.
James 1:5 If you don’t know the truth or how to apply it, then ask God, because he’s eager to help and won’t make you feel stupid.
King James
Proverbs 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.)
James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Why is a wicked walk likened to physical darkness while the walk of the righteous connects with light?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 4:18–19 The path of the righteous is like a shining light that becomes brighter every day until their vision is made perfect.
The wicked walk in darkness, so they stumble and don’t know why.
King James
Proverbs 4:18–19 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

What is the difference between hearing and listening? Why are people easily distracted??

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 4:20 My child, pay attention. Listen closely to what I am saying.
King James
Proverbs 4:20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.

How are we helped with meditation? When might it be harmful?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 4:21–22 Don’t lose sight of a single truth, but meditate on my words, for they are life to those who grasp their meaning, bringing health to one’s whole being.
King James
Proverbs 4:21–22 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

What can we do to “guard” our desires?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 4:23 More than anything, guard the desire of your heart, which governs everything you do.
King James
Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

We can be so cautious about what to say that we say nothing. How careful should we be?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 4:24 Be careful what you say. Keep every word that is false or deceptive far from your lips.
King James
Proverbs 4:24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

How can we focus on the right path?

Author’s Thoughts
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Job 31:1 I made an agreement with my eyes. When I see a beautiful maiden, I will not look at her with desire.
Psalm 119:37 Turn my eyes from lusting after that which cannot satisfy, but let me live by your words.
Proverbs 4:25–27 Focus on the path that God has laid before you, looking straight ahead, avoiding all distractions.
To avoid the sticky stuff, watch where you step. Be unwavering in your commitment to follow the Lord, refusing to let your feet stray right or left toward evil.
King James
Job 31:1 I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?
Psalm 119:37 Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.
Proverbs 4:25–27 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.