Yesterday was August 5, so at breakfast I opened up to Proverbs 5. I must not have read this chapter out loud with my children before, because I was struck with wondering about the appropriateness of discussing the immoral woman with my young children.
My son, pay attention to my wisdom;
Lend your ear to my understanding,
That you may preserve discretion,
And your lips may keep knowledge.
For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey,
And her mouth is smoother than oil;
But in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
Sharp as a two-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death,
Her steps lay hold of hell.
Lest you ponder her path of life—
Her ways are unstable;
You do not know them.
Actually, I started talking about these verses because verse two talks about honey, and Grandma Brock just gave us a honey pot from when Daddy was a boy. As a result, right now they love honey.
I opted to read the whole chapter, even the part of a wife being like the playful doe and hart (among other things). I omitted nothing. *
I tried to explain flattery and honey. I told them that the immoral woman looks like a nice person, but is not. She tells people how wonderful they are so they will think she’s a nice person, but then she causes them to sin.
I asked them if they thought a person should tell the immoral woman that she was wrong, or get away from her quickly. They thought running away was bad. I showed them that the Bible tells us to run away from the immoral woman.
About verses 18-20 (including how good it is to be intoxicated with a wife’s body and love), I read out loud. I told them that King Solomon reminds us that being married is a wonderful part of God’s plan for us. That’s why mommy and daddy like to spend time together, and that’s why mommy and daddy like to be close to each other and sleep close together. I want to emphasize that God’s way is better, and I decided that this is a good beginning to teaching them about physical intimacy God’s way.
That foolish man (at the beginning of the chapter) thought that he would be happy being close to someone who was not his wife. But King Solomon says that the foolish man is choosing the way of death.
I decided that Proverbs 5 was a very good chapter to read with a preschooler.
* Note: By the way, I hope to hereby preempt the comment that Hebrew youngsters were not allowed to read Song of Solomon until they were adults. I’ve yet to see documentation of this assertion, but I would welcome it if you have it.
Diane Heeney says
Just curious Michelle…do you read Proverbs each day w/your kids at breakfast? Do you read the entire chapter? What tips could you offer for keeping this fresh each month for the kiddiewinks?
Actually, Diane, I’m so scatterbrained that I don’t read Proverbs each day with the children (Based on my reaction to Proverbs 5, I suspect this is the first time I’ve read it on the fifth). I just do it when I remember, when I’m feeling spiritual, when the kids aren’t fighting, and when I’m not feverishly trying to get the house clean for company coming. Sometimes I read the whole chapter, sometimes I just read the good parts, and sometimes I just read one verse. I started a chart that I described elsewhere, and that kept the children very attentive for awhile. But we filled the chart and I stopped doing it, although I still have the chart up in the kitchen.
I forgot to add that sometimes they’re not listening at all. They’re talking and reading cereal boxes and watching hummingbirds out the window. In those cases, I just read out loud for my own benefit!
Diane Heeney says
Well, there goes my idyllic vision of you in your pressed apron and June Cleaver pearls. =) Seriously though, I understand all those parameters…I live there too! I am always looking for good ideas and ways to expose my own kids to the Word (Deut 6), and also for use in my pre-primary SS and Jr. Church lessons. My kids like “Keys for Kids”, and of course they have Bible in their BJU curriculum. Any other things you like? I am glad to glean from others who are more in the loop than I am!
Diane– LOL, although my husband did recently order an apron for me (at my request– remember that I’m very clumsy). Good ideas… well, I agree that life itself is full of opportunities for exposing our children to God’s Word, as you also indicate. What’s been helpful for me is understanding how my struggles mirror my children’s struggles. For example, God’s Word applies whether I’m afraid of the dark, or of something happening to my husband or children that I cannot control. Knowing the solution is the same sometimes keeps me from giving trite phrases that have little meaning to them or me. I’ve also found some books that I like (see the book review category and my annotated booklist), but I don’t think any of them are necessary. Perhaps as my children get older I’ll have more use for more resources, but now I don’t use anything consistently except the Bible. And that just depends on what God is doing in my life and theirs.
I’ve begun reading Colossians to the kids. Our pastor was preaching a series based on Colossians 1 recently, and, the church is memorizing a portion of chapter 1 recently (and, it’s just one of my favorite books!). It’s nice to have them a bit older, and usually we’re discussing so much that we can only really read a few verses at a time. And it’s not a daily thing…yet! I’m mainly wanting to start familiarizing them with Scripture as a small part of a bigger whole, so we talk a lot about context and the history and what Paul was trying to teach the church he wrote to…and why he would write them such a long letter, anyway. lol 🙂
Gina– This sounds great. When do you have these discussions? What do you do with your little ones who don’t understand too much yet?