by Caryl Moll
Many years ago, when my children were small, I discovered this little treasure while browsing in a book store one day. I was intrigued. It stirred a deep creative spark in me. I peeped inside…
It was a simple book with pretty blank pages ready to be filled. A journal really, with writing prompts at the top of each page for a mother to write up her story. Each page offered a question. Some questions were simple; like ‘What is your favourite recipe?’ or ‘Tell me about your first kiss…’ Other prompts were more complicated questions, like: “When did you first hear about Jesus?” and “What is the biggest mistake you have ever made?”
The intention of this book was for us mothers to leave a written legacy for our children – things we’d like to tell them, or emphasize, or to fill in the gaps of our lives before we pass on.
But think about it; this leads to another question…
Why would we want to do this? Why do we want our children to know certain things about us? Why do we want to transfer such knowledge to them?
The answer is simple. It lies in our innate need to protect our children; to help them avoid the pitfalls of this life, so that the hard consequences of mistakes won’t fall on their shoulders. We want them to flourish and be happy. It’s every parent’s wish.
The reality, however, is that our makeup as human beings ensures that we will all choose and chart our own course in this life. We will make our own decisions and will also make some horrible mistakes along the way. Sometimes we’ll choose a completely stupid direction even whilst knowing the potential dangerous consequences. Life is about choices. And yes, we can make some really stupid ones!
I eventually purchased this little book and set about writing in it. It is by no means complete and I’ve discovered that my ideas change over the years. It does, however, share some of my life experiences. It’s a gift to my children … and possibly to my grandchildren one day. My writing is open and honest and candidly imparts some of my accumulated “knowledge of life” over the years. It shares my love of God and the life He has given me. It’s part of my overall creative effort to leave something positive and of value for those who live after me. I know that my advice given in my little book may not be heeded. The choice is always up to them….they can take it or leave it.
Similarly, when I study the book of Proverbs and the amazing advice Solomon left us, (inspired by God himself), I am reminded of my own book. I am also reminded of the love I have for my own children and my need to protect and guide them. This is exactly the same sentiment in the book of Proverbs. Its purpose is to impart wisdom and discipline for understanding and insight – so that we will lead prudent lives (Prov 1:2)…and more.
8 Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
And just before this verse there is another bit of valuable advice:
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
This ‘fear’ that this verse talks about is not the ‘scared’ kind, but rather the ‘wide-mouthed-wonder’ kind when we finally get to understand this Biblical knowledge. It’s that ‘lightbulb’ moment when we stop and wonder ‘Why did I do that when I knew the consequences would be so bad? Did God not warn me?’
Just like our parents and us, the parents/grand-parents of our own children, God’s intention is always one of love and nurturing. He’s left us so many books of knowledge and wisdom to consult … when we choose to do so.
The question is: Will we take His advice?
With love, in Christ