On Sunday, June 16, we in the United States will have the opportunity to celebrate another Father’s Day.
The first official Father’s Day was in 1972, 41 years ago. My father died of a sudden heart attack when I was just about to start my year in grade six. This year will be 50 years since Dad died.
So, as you can see, I haven’t ever been able to celebrate Father’s Day as a son to his father. I never got to buy a funny or serious card for him.
It didn’t take me very long to realize that I would not be able to experience the wise counsel that most sons receive from their dads. But then, a friend told me that I would always have free access to a wise father’s counsel. This wise father was known as the wisest man that ever lived. Although he made some great decisions in his life, he also made some wrong choices. I was eager to discover what this fatherly counselor had to offer.
I was sent to the Bible’s book of Proverbs. Most of these proverbs were written by King Solomon, the son of Israel’s famous King David. Solomon wrote these for his son to read and learn from. In fact, there are 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs — just the right number to read one proverb each day of the month.
What did I find? I found all kinds of advice on finances, integrity, ethics, work, relationships, setting priorities, honesty, investing, eating, sleeping, how to treat your parents, marriage, being a friend and much more. Some were humorous and some were full of depth. Would you like to hear a few that really impacted me?
• 20:17 Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.
• 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
• 13:11 Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
• 11:14 Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
• 11:22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.
• 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
• 17:28 Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.
• 21:23 He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.
• 22:3 A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.
• 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Need direction and purpose for life? I found it in Proverbs 3:5,6: Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
These are just the tip of the iceberg of all the wisdom available to everyone from the book of Proverbs. If you are getting bad advice from people, read Proverbs and get the best advice from our loving God.
(Dan Cumings is the youth pastor at Mildred Bible Chapel.)