It’s advice to a son, so I read it through twice, thinking about me and then them.
It makes the point most emphatically that God is the key to wisdom: trust him for decision making, acknowledge him with your wealth, accept his discipline… And all will be the best it can.
God’s insight is precious, it was the basis on which the universe was made.
The last third is some practical implications, saying not to be a tough guy, but merciful and kind, based on the revealed nature of God.
My sons are both funny about Christianity. Neither of them straight ahead embrace it, but both have a lot of time for it. I can say I’ve modelled it in a way that they don’t just write it off, they see the value of it.
Lewes my oldest is not coping with many aspects of life, and the church is one of a long list, so it’s hard to know outside of those issues what his view of church would be. He gives a lot of respect to my views, even vigorously defends Christianity to others. He is a careful thinker about things.
Rennie is more of your classic teenager, rebellious and needing to make his own path. He doesn’t like being forced to go to church, but whether in his own steam he eventually believes my faith remains to be seen. Though I’ll continue to model Christianity to him and encourage him to engage, I also have to let him be him and pray.
Both of them are in practice more like the wise person in terms of not violent, ethical etc.
Of course, in today’s world it also applies as much to my daughter as well, in our society she is as independent as a man. She accepts Jesus more clearly, but does struggle to find ways to nurture and express her faith in the church. Her faith is a pretty wonderful thing I enjoy sharing with her.
I long for them all to thrive and to know God, I’m not the best parent in many ways. ‘lean not on your own understanding’ the verse says here. Indeed.