Lesson #3
Proverbs 4:10-13

Staying on the Path

'Staying on the Path' is a basic Bible study time with my son on Proverbs 4:10-13. This is the way I remember it. This is only a suggestive model. I am sure God will lead you differently at points. But for those who have are not sure how to go through the scriptures with his son, I have been very explicit. Write to me if you have questions.

1) Time.
Today my son wanted to be short. It was a nice day. I told him that we didn't take too long, only about 15 minutes. Well out he pulls the kitchen timer. He promptly sets it for 15 minutes. I told him we don't go by time but met as long a we needed. And we did just that. After we got into the study, the timer went off and we kept going. I did try to keep it short, but he had all these questions and stories. I was delighted to see how he lost sense of time.

2) Pray
We continued each with a short prayer. He just prayed on his own this time not mentioning anything of the past.

3) Review
We went over the first two sessions again only picking out the key words in each section. I was being especially terse at first because he was talking about time. I wasn't positive how that reflected in his attitude.
1-4: Hear, sons, instruction, fathers
5-8: Acquire wisdom, understanding, Don't turn away

4) Reading. Then I had him read the text, Proverbs 4:10-13. We would read one or two verses at a time later as we got ready to discuss them.

Hear, my son, and accept my sayings, And the years of your life will be many. I have directed you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in upright paths. When you walk, your steps will not be impeded; And if you run, you will not stumble. Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life. (Proverbs 4:10-13, NASB).

5) We continued by focusing on verse 10. He would read just this verse first.

Hear, my son, and accept my sayings, and the years of your life will be many. (Proverbs 4:10).

We went over who was talking and who the son was. Solomon was addressing his son. We took a bit of detour here after my son asked who was Solomon's son. I actually had to tell him about Solomon's large harem and many sons. We discussed how early in life Solomon sought God and this is when he wrote this book. But later, he went astray with the many foreign women and their idols.

I told him that every man has to continue to follow the Lord or trouble will come about. Solomon was not consistent and therefore was judged. I told him the importance of a dad setting an example. I mentioned that later in life he would see Christian children who were bitter with their parents. I told him more than likely it would be because they saw inconsistency in their parents' lives. He should of course follow the Lord even if I went astray, but I assured him that my heart was to obey the Lord.

After this I asked him how might he would live long? I didn't expect him to know the answer, but I did want him to think it through. I had him read Ephesians 6:1-3,

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH. (Ephesians 6:1-3, NASB).

We as a family had memorized these verses. I pointed out to him that these verses also connect the child's obedience with living long on earth. Solomon was encouraging his children to obey the ten commandments. He was personalizing it. We got back to my question. The reason those who obey generally live longer is that they actually go by Dad's rules. He is protected by Dad's rules early on in life. Those that don't listen hurt their bodies and ruin relationships all bringing about an earlier death.

My son asked about who lived the longest. I said it was Methusaleh. (Notice how his questions just kept us talking!) He asked me how old he lived? I went on and kept saying 968 but felt it was wrong. He suggested why not look it up on the computer Bible. In 2 seconds we found the verse - 969 years old. He must have lived by his parents' wisdom.

6) We then read verse 11. We talked a bit about the two paths.

I have directed you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in upright paths.

I sketched him a road and tried to connect verse 10 and 11 together. I first drew the road and put the words into the path. I showed him that the parents will help him get ahead on this road. They want to help their children. If the child can listen and cherish this advice, then he will zoom ahead of others in life. I think I asked him, "What happens if he goes off the road?" We joined together in drawing big Xs showing that they would run into all sorts of trouble.

Foolish people go off the road and don't think anything is going to happen. We talked together about this. He drew another diagram.

7) We read verse 12.

When you walk, your steps will not be impeded; And if you run, you will not stumble. (Proverbs 4:12,).

I started talking about how people don't like to stumble. Little boys don't either. We kept looking at the diagram and saw that if one stayed on the main way, then one wouldn't be held back. I illustrated this word 'impeded' in several ways. A person is tied up and can't run. David was impeded in his fight against Goliath with Saul's armor on. He took it off. I mentioned stepping into a big mud puddle in a race and having been held back because of the mud all over his feet and legs.

8) I had him read verse 13.

Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life. (Proverbs 4:13)

Time was going on so I ended the study quickly. If we take hold of instruction, then we would stay on the road. But if not, then we would go off the road and spend most of life trying not to get hurt too bad. We need to guard her. So I jumped into the conclusion, asking him how was he going to guard her.

9) Conclusion
There were two main lessons.
1) We were to stay right on the path and obey our parents.
2) If we started to run into trouble during the day, we should immediately ask ourselves, "Did I not obey my parents on some particular matter?" Then straighten out that matter. {Going off the path will lead one into trouble).

10) Prayer. We both prayed. He was much more confident.

Afterwards, my son climbed on my lap, and we shared about all sorts of things. He particularly shared how I told him not to go over the hillside down by a nearby street. He asked whether he could, but I told him that he was not allowed. He mentioned how they wanted to build a tree house there. He also mentioned one time that one of the boys almost fell over the cliff and would have if an older boy didn't grab hold of him. (The cliff is about 40 feet straight down). So my son was reminiscing how God's Word is true and best. Obeying parents is best even if it is not easy at times.

Discipling Sons
Discipling Sons
Proverbs 4:1-4
Proverbs 4:5-9
Proverbs 4:10-13
Proverbs 4:14-19
Proverbs 4:20-23
Proverbs 4:24-27
an Intro
Getting Started
Listening to Dad
Acquire Wisdom
Staying on the Path
The Two Paths
The Springs of Life
Body Participation
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