Proverbs 1:8-9

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.


What is an ideal structure of family composition? Father, mother and children! Our society cannot maintain such ideal family structure, why? Not everyone is fortunate to have both parents. Deliberate or accidental, there are various reasons that cannot be denied; many children all around the globe have single parent or none at all. Calamities, terrorism, poverty, pandemic, war and many factors can reestablish a family structure.

And, orphans can be envious of children who have both biological parents.

Interestingly, biological parents cannot dictate success in life. Anyone can excel in life, orphan or not. And individuals, who are bound to excel, would choose the path of success naturally or spontaneously. How do you define successful life anyway?

What is your idea of successful life: wealth, health, educational attainments? Success is also understood as blessedness in life; it is favorable enjoyment, material abundance, achievements or attainments that may intensify glorious enjoyment of life.

The Lord has designed an open-secret of successful life which is actually taught and heard multiple times, over and over again. What is godly open-secret to success?

Ephesians 6:1-3 says, 1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

To enjoy long life is blessed experience. Obedience brings honor to parents; and, enjoyment of life experiences is literal result of it. How should we honor our parents? Obedience to their godly instructions! Parents have failures, too. So, it is very advisable to pray for parents so that they will teach godly instructions and not selfish schemes.

What is your expectation of a blessed life you wish to enjoy? Do you expect what God had designed for you? The practice of faith in God includes confidence to his grace, goodness and unlimited creativeness. He commands us to experience blessedness. When he commands us “to honor parents,” he wants us to practice confidence in him.

Can we cheerfully obey godly instruction of parents? Yes! We ask God to help us.

1.  Apply

8Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.

“To listen” is “to obey” and “not forsake.” “Instruction” means “teaching.” Whether it is our father or our mother that teaches or gives instruction, as children of our parents, our response is to listen, obey and not forsake what they instruct or teach us. Of course, it’s assumed that our parents give godly instruction or teaching. Again, it is very advisable to pray that parents will teach godly instruction and not selfish scheme.

Pray also for godly wisdom so that we may discern which instruction is beneficial and harmful to us. Why? This is necessary as preclude to arguments like: “What if our parents instruct us to commit wickedness or tell lies or white lies, should we still obey?”

Not here?

A story was told about a mother, who instructed her children: “If someone comes looking for me, tell them that I am not home!” So, someone came and knocked at their door. “Knock! Knock!” A child opened the door and told the stranger: “If you are looking for my Mom, she said that she is not home!” Someone considered that as white lie.

Do you find the story as humorous? Does it remind you of someone who did it? Such selfish parenting is detrimental and harmful to the upbringing of a child.  Honest, kind, polite and godly instructions practically exhibit spiritual maturity of parents. Parents: Teach godly instruction! Your children will respect you; and, you’ll be blessed.

2 Timothy 1:5 says, I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

Apostle Paul implied a godly upbringing of Timothy; Timothy had a god-fearing grandmother and mother. Their godly instruction was instrumental in the nurture of his faith so that, Timothy responded to his calling and served the Lord as pastor at a very young age. The life story of Timothy, his grandmother and mother was a wonderful result of the gospel of Christ; it was added in the Scripture for (us) readers to learn from.

God-fearing-parents teach godly instruction to children. They rejoice when their children serve the Lord.  Parents: Your lifestyle will affect the mindset of your children. And, when your children decide to serve the Lord, glorious rejoicing adorns your life.=

2.  Adorn

They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.

Obedience to parents is garland on the head and chain to the neck. What is that?

The phrase “garland to your head” signifies honor, success or achievements. And, the phrase “chain to adorn your neck” signifies wealth, power and fame adds to success.

Trivia: Who’s the most obedient son of Jacob? Joseph. In Egypt, he’s successful. Pharaoh said in Genesis 41:41-42, 41“I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” 42Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck.

Do you like gold chains? There are groups of individuals who love to wear gold chains. It could be their way of showing others that they are successful and have much wealth. Do they wish others to envy them? Or, do they just want to feel rich and successful?

Instructions and teachings of godly parents are “a garland to grace the head and a chain to adorn the neck” of obedient children. And, it is by faith that believers can expect that God awards wonderful blessings for obedient children to enjoy. Pharaoh King of Egypt did not believe God; but, he was God’s instrument to reward Joseph.


The story of Queen Esther teaches that the Lord bless children who are obedient to their parents. Esther had no father, no mother; she was orphan. Her story practically proves that success in life is open to everyone, whether orphan or not. Some candidates may have biological parents, but an orphan Esther was chosen as queen.

Queen Esther had older cousin named Mordecai, who took her as his own child. Mordecai served as single parent to Esther. They were brought into exile. Can you agree that the Lord let Esther and Mordecai be exiled as refugees in a foreign land as his grand design for successful life? Well, both Mordecai and Esther excelled in a foreign land.

Anyhow, even after Esther became queen, she still continued to listen and follow instructions from Mordecai. It narrated in Esther 2:20, 20Esther continued to follow Mordecai’s instructions as she had done when he was bringing her up.

Esther was obedient to her adopted parent Mordecai; and, God blessed her. Mordecai must have taught her in godly instruction; and, Esther continued to obey him, even when she became popular, powerful and had prospered greatly. Godly teachings of Mordecai had influenced her manners. King Xerxes was very pleased with Esther.

Well, the Lord did not forget but blessed Mordecai for teaching godly instruction to Esther, his adopted child. It says in Esther 10:2-3, 2A full account of the greatness of Mordecai, whom the king had promoted, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Media and Persia? Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Xerxes, preeminent among the Jews, and held in high esteem by his many fellow Jews, because he worked for the good of his people and spoke up for the welfare of all the Jews.

Mordecai was rewarded after he told Esther about an assassination plot against King Xerxes; she informed the king, giving credit to Mordecai. Mordecai was promoted.

Listen: If King Xerxes was very sensible to reward Mordecai, the Lord has already prepared rewards to parents who teach godly instruction to their children.

Parents: Pray for godly wisdom to teach godly instructions to your children. You will certainly harvest the fruit of godly parenting that the Lord has prepared for you.

Children: Listen and obey godly instructions and teachings. The Lord has already prepared blessing for all children who gladly obey parental instruction and teaching.

Pray for godly wisdom for your parents always. Pray also for discernment to identify godly instructions and teaching that are helpful for your spiritual growth.

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