Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Proverbs 12:1 The S-word!

When I first became a teacher, I taught first grade for three years, before moving to fifth grade, where my sarcastic sense of humor is much more appreciated and doesn’t make students cry! I taught first grade in the years of 32 in a classroom (gee... we are back there now...), and I used to compare it to having a birthday party all day long for 32 six-year olds all by myself!

It was exhausting, but truly fun, as first graders say the darnedest things! Like the little girl who told her tablemates that her parents were going to get a “bivorce,” then proceeded to give details of a screaming match at home. Thinking to comfort her, one of the other girls at the table said, “That’s nothing! Once my mom threw a whole box of crayons at my dad!” :) I had to step in and divert the conversation! { Note: the first girl’s parents did not get a “bivorce,” but the second girl’s did. Put the crayons down! } 

But one of the things they would say always put me on the alert. First graders love to tattle and they were constantly saying things like, “Alexander said the M-word,” (you don’t want to know), or “David said the I-word.” Turns out the I-word was “Idiot!” It didn’t take me long to figure out that the “S-word” was “stupid!” PHEW!!! I loved that some parents had taught their children that such words were “bad” words, that should not be used! Someone had better tell Solomon:

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,

    but he who hates correction is stupid. (Proverbs 12:1) 

Sometimes the S-word is the perfect word! Those that will not listen to words of correction or rebuke truly are stupid! These are the ones who must touch the wet paint or the hot stove!

When we had our second child, Emmy, it baffled me that she would throw tantrums when she was a toddler. She never got her way by kicking and screaming, was always sent into time out feeling ashamed and humiliated at having lost control, but she would repeat the behavior. She learned at a very young age that she needed to pray for self-control. But as all mothers of toddlers do, I wondered why she needed to learn the lesson the hard way. The good news is she grew up to be an amazing, godly woman - who now has to deal with her own daughter’s tantrums - the good news there being the “godly woman” part!

As parents we sometimes watch our children choosing to go down a disastrous path, maybe even one we have been down before, and we have to just entrust them to God, because they will not listen to us. It is heartbreaking to see people we love refusing to receive instruction, and hardening their hearts to God’s wisdom. You want to shake them and shout, “You’re being STUPID!”

You know, I’ve never seen a necklace or bracelet or even a plaque with Proverbs 12:1 written on it, but I’m thinking it just might be the perfect gift for someone you love - or maybe to hang over your own desk??? It could be a companion verse to Jeremiah 29:11 to give a high school graduate???

Lord, help us to receive correction as a GIFT from You!  

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