Bind Always

Proverbs 6:20-21

20My son, keep your father’s command and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. 21Bind them always on your heart; fasten them around your neck.


            Somewhere in the countryside, young people loved playing basketball even under hot summer sun. They selected players as teammates. One person always chooses a player who had very smelly sweat. When asked why he chooses the said player, “Well, I don’t need to guard him, and he does not need to guard me; so he will always stay out of my way, and I will stay out of his way.”

            Smelly sweat had been a problem for many active young people. And it is a good habit to regularly practice and observe good hygiene. To remember and not disregard but always practise good habits would produce great character in us. What habit do you always practise and want to do for the rest of your life?

            Someone said, “If you always think of it, eventually you will do it; if you always do it, eventually it becomes a habit. Your habit builds your character. Your character will lead you to your destiny.” Pray that God helps you think of things pleasant to him. He certainly wants you to think of activities he prepared for you.

            King David declared in Psalm 40:5, 5Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.

            King David was known as a man who did whatever God told him to do. He had personally experienced the wonders of God, and that was why he obeyed the Lord without reservation. Can you agree that if we prioritize obedience to God, we will eventually experience wonderful things that God had prepared for us?

            The more we grow in our faith in the Lord, the more we realize that his plan is the best life we can ever have in our lifetime. Why? It has eternal significance.

As children of God, we have to always remember the instruction of our heavenly Father; we should not disregard his commands. We are instructed and not forget what our father tells us and not forsake what our mother teaches us.

1.  Forsake

20My son, keep your father’s command and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.

            Did you choose your own parents? Can you sincerely believe without any hesitation that your parents were chosen by the Lord as you father and mother?

Before we were born, we don’t know anything? No one had declared they want to be born. Whether we agree with it or not, God our Creator chose parents that he deems best for every child. Of course, it is by faith in God we believe that.

Someone may argue, “My father isn’t great, why should I listen to him? My mother is just a simple person, what can I learn from her teaching?” Still they may still insist, “If God chose for us the best parents who are neither great nor special, does he not want me to be great or special?” What do such arguments imply?

It implies no faith in God. Faith in God includes trust in his word. Certainly, it bothers many that God wants us keep our father’s command and not forsake our mother’s teaching. We can never totally comprehend godly commands. Why do we obey if we don’t fully understand? We trust God, and his will is great for us.

            How do you internalize what Jesus Christ our Lord declared in John 12:48? 48There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day.

            What the Lord declared will certainly happen. He rewards obedience to his commands, even to keep our father’s command and not forsake our mother’s teaching. With limited human effort, we need godly inspiration to obey godly commands; we can only please the Lord when we are inspired by his Holy Spirit.

            When we are inspired by the Holy Spirit, we also realize that his commands are favorable to us. This is why Christ commanded for us to wait for his Holy Spirit to empower, inspire and teach us how we may obey his instruction appropriately.

            You have heard it when people say, “Like father, like son!” It is possible that children may live a lifestyle similar to their father but it’s not necessarily absolute.

Samuel’s Son

            Prophet Samuel served the Lord with all his heart. But his sons did not. It says in 1 Samuel 8:1-3, 1When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as Israel’s leaders. 2The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. 3But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.

            Samuel was great leader but his sons were dishonest. Did he teach his sons to fear God? He should have! His sons ignored and not hold fast on his teaching.

2.  Fasten

21Bind them always on your heart; fasten them around your neck.

            When it says, “Fasten them around your neck,” obedience to parents must be obvious. When it says, “Bind them always on your heart,” it implies that as long as our heart is beating, we should always be mindful and not forsake commands and teachings of our parents; we should make it as lifestyle, not just one time.

            Jesus Christ declares in Luke 6:45, 45A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

            Parental commands and teachings can be godly but not absolutely true at all times. It takes godly wisdom to discern which parental command and teaching are supposed to be kept and followed. It is our responsibility to choose godly commands to keep and bind in our hearts. Obedience should not be forced.


            Many individuals may blame parents for their lifestyle. We can learn from Prophet Samuel. At a very young age of approximately two years old after Samuel was weaned, his mother left him under the care of Eli the Priest. His parents may have instructed him, “Samuel, respectfully obey the teachings of Eli the Priest!” It’s possible. Samuel became Israel’s leader that God had favored. It had narrated in 1 Samuel 7:13-15, 13Throughout Samuel’s lifetime, the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines.  14The towns from Ekron to Gath that the Philistines had captured from Israel were restored to Israel, and Israel delivered the neighboring territory from the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites. 15 Samuel continued as Israel’s leader all the days of his life.

            When leader of Israel was favored by the Lord, their enemies we defeated.

The children of Eli the Priest heard his teaching all their life, but they ignored God. In contrast, Samuel learned from Eli the Priest for just few years, but he respected God. This biblical reality teaches us that parents can be religious but can’t dictate adult children how they behave individually. It is clearly stated in Ezekiel 18:20, 20The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.

            As children of God, our part is to continue praying for parents and children that each of us may grow spiritually. May God help us discern which command is beneficial to us personally and spiritually! May we hold fast to his word forever!

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