Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Keep Your Heart

"Keep Your Heart with all diligence; 
for out of it are the issues of life."  
Proverbs 4:23

What do you do when your children fight?  It is just sibling rivalry, right?
No, it is sin. 
It is a manifestation of the heart.
Just as is every sin and form of idolatry.
That is why Solomon so earnestly admonishes us to keep our heart pure, clean, and full of Christ, 
leaving no room or invitation for evil, selfishness, pride, bitterness, or the like.
Keep it carefully.
Keep it diligently.  
Tend it regularly.
Zealously weed out the rottenness, the junk.
Fill it with the beautiful things of the Lord....
for out of it spring forth ALL the issues of life.

If there is any one thing we teach our children, any one thing we do each day,
it should be to engrave this thought on our hearts, 
on our children, impressing it upon them so it is the air they breath.
How? 
By instructing them in the Proverbs and faithfully praying for their souls.  
By living what we teach.

As our family works through Kevin Swanson Family Bible Study Series on Proverbs, 
my husband and I have become more and more convinced this is where it is at.
We cannot possibly disciple our children without teaching the Proverbs.
The Proverbs are the Gospel in practical terms. 
It is the Cross centered life layed out in a step by step manual.

Mr. Swanson has done an incredible job of putting together a commentary 
that will help your family talk through the wisdom and instruction 
in a manner which will enable you to put it right into practice.
Every day, our study convicts our souls and inspires us to walk in wisdom, 
to choose that which is godly,
to think biblically.
This three book series is by far the best resource we have ever used in 22 years family devotions
or  15 years of homeschool curriculum.
God bless his soul, Mr. Swanson's third book in the series has just come out, 
which I am very excited about  because the first book was beyond good, 
and the second book equal,
now we have another to continue this life altering study. 
And then, I think we will start over and do it again.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: 
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.  
My son, hear the instruction of thy father 
and forsake not the law of thy mother;
for they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, 
and chains about thy neck." 
  Prov. 1:7-9

Clearly, then, only a fool will avoid this study of God's book of wisdom,
and when Kevin  has done such a remarkable job of putting together a study guide, 
I think it would be foolish not to use it.
I earnestly encourage you and yours to get into the Proverbs today.

"When wisdom entereth into thine heart,
and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul, 
discretion shall preserve thee,
understanding shall keep thee."
 Prov. 2:10,11 

6 comments:

Finding Balance mommy said...

I purchased the first book from Vision Forum after seeing your recommendation earlier this year. We have really enjoyed it! Thanks for passing the word on a great family resource!

Freedom Acres Farm said...

This sounds wonderful. I am wondering at what ages it would be most appropriate. Our young ones are 6, 5, & 4. What do you think?

Mrs.Rabe said...

Thanks for the reminder about this study. We are reading through the Proverbs during our family worship time and this would be a good addition.

Deanna

carlgray said...

Wonderful, wonderful words. I wholeheartedly agree. Thank you for the encouragement and challenge and for the tips about the Kevin Swanson books.

Julianne said...

We use the study guide as a family with all our children, ages 1 to 20. I think most school age children will get alot from it, there are some big words, we often get the dictionary out and define them for the smaller children. It would be good as just a study for an adult as well, since it is not geared for children. There are questions at the end of every section as well. We feel free to use the guide loosely, adding to or omitting, if we feel a line is over the children's heads completely. The smaller children like to draw a picture to represent what the lesson means to them.
In short, the guide is not age discriminate. We tend to read books and study at a high school level, and let the younger ones glean what they are capable of, sometimes, it is quite surprising.

Bethany Moser said...

We are on the first book of this study with our two teen boys. It provides a great time to reflect and discuss the Proverbs in more depth than if we just read them alone. For our younger kids we have been using "Wisdom and the Millers: Proverbs for Children by Mildred A. Martin". This study has great stories the kids can understand that illustrate a lesson from Proverbs. Thank you Julianne for introducing me to Kevin Swanson's study this summer. May God bless you all as you study His Word.