I recently wrote the following for HopeStreamRadio:
There are 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs and there are 31 days in several months of the year. Reading through and discussed Proverbs 1 on the first of the month, Proverbs 2 on the second of the month, and so on would make a great addition to our times of personal and family devotions.
Proverbs 1:1-7 says, “The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth—Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction” (ESV).
There are some chapters of the Bible that read like stories, those we can read fairly quickly and glean much from. However, the book of Proverbs is different. As you can see from even these seven brief verses, it’s important to read it slowly and carefully.
Although it doesn’t take long to read a chapter, it’s important to really focus on what we’re reading.
Why not review these questions before each day’s reading?
- Which verse stands out to me? Why?
- What do I think this chapter—or the one specific verse that stood out to me—meant to the original audience?
- How does this verse apply today? In general? To our family specifically?
- What is my overall impression of this chapter? Is it encouraging? Challenging? Troubling? Why?
And in the case of Proverbs in particular, it’s also important to consider this:
- Is this particular proverb simply an observation or is it something God wants us to apply to our lives?
These questions will give you a jumpstart, but you should feel free to make up your own, keeping in mind your children’s ages and level of understanding.
As well as reading from and discussing the Proverbs daily, it would also be a great idea to choose at least one verse from each chapter and memorize it as a family. I would suggest memorizing a single verse or brief passage each week.
Keep in mind Psalm 119:11, which says, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”
Verse 7 of Proverbs 1 would be a great place to start: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
This brief verse is another example of why we must read slowly and carefully. There is so much to learn from these 15 words.
Scripture memorization is very challenging for some people, but here are some tips to make it easier:
- Read the verse/passage aloud several times.
- Write it on an index card (or use an app on your smartphone) and refer to it often throughout the day, reading or quoting it aloud whenever possible.
- Make a game of reciting the verse with other family members—around the dinner table, before going to bed, on your drive to work or school the following day.
- Regularly review verses you’ve memorized. If everyone is able to recite the month’s verses at the beginning of the following month, do something special together that you all enjoy. (This may be especially motivating if you have young children.)
After memorization becomes a habit, you may want to choose the chapter that speaks most directly to your family and memorize the entire chapter.
Remember to review those verses and passages you’ve memorized on a regular basis.
Before we pray I would like to urge each of us to not only memorize scripture verses but also learn what they actually mean. It’s very easy to come to the conclusion that portions of God’s Word mean something they don’t when taken in context.
And one more things . . .
There are portions of this book of the Bible that may not be appropriate for a preteen audience. I highly recommend parents read each day’s portion to determine if there are verses they believe would best be left unread for the time being.
Yesterday, today, tomorrow . . .
Keep up with writing and recording for HopeStreamRadio
~ motoring along
Keep on schedule with work for my clients
~ a couple of contacts to make
Finish prepping to co-teach a Creative Nonfiction Intensive at Write Canada
It’s coming together well.
Finish work on InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship anthology
~ nearing the finish line (What a great team! It has been an honour to work with them.)
Keep up with my current blogging schedule
Clean, organize, and declutter some
~ on hold until after the writers’ conference in June
~ walking more
The 30-Day Challenge is going fairly well. I have more self-discipline and that’s been lacking recently.
Last but not least . . .
Check in with my fellow ROWers regularly
My computer’s being persnickety. If I don’t visit all my peeps, it’s because my silly computer says the link is broken. It often works if I leave the site and go back to it but not always.