The Proverbs are are often used by Christian parents, and rightly so, for guidance and instruction in parenting. But can we automatically accomplish what the Proverbs describe through our own strength and effort? No. Since all Scripture points to Jesus, and it is only through the good news of God’s saving love that we can live the Christian life, we must look to Jesus before we apply to gospel to ourselves.
Fitzpatrick and Thompson, in chapter 6 of their book, Give them Grace, discuss the book of Proverbs and Jesus. “Yes, the proverbs do tell us how to live godly lives, but they also tell us about him. For instance, the command, ‘My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent,’ was abundantly fulfilled in Jesus’s resistance to Satan’s temptations in the wilderness. Jesus is the Wise Son who always did what was pleasing to his Father (Isa. 52:13; John 8:29).” Jesus can also be seen in the Proverbs as the one who receives the rod of correction meant for fools like you and me.
“Jesus’s identity as the Wise Son who received blows helps us understand how to apply the proverbs in our parenting. Remembering that Proverbs and the way we discipline are preeminently about Jesus Christ will transform the way we apply correction to our own children.” As we parent we will understand that helping our children to become wise will only be accomplished after they first trust in the first Wise Son, Jesus. We will also remember that he took our punishment and the punishment meant for our children upon himself, so that as we discipline we can teach our children about the discipline that Jesus received for us.