Delight yourself in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
The sum of the Ten Commandments is to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind. Love is the queen of graces. It shines and sparkles in God’s eyes. The nature of love consists in delighting in its object. If our love is sincere we must not divide it between God and sin. The true mother will not have her child divided, nor will God have our hearts divided. We must love God for himself, his loveliness, and for the perfections that are in him. Hypocrites love God because he gives them corn and wine. We must love him with all of our might. We can never love him as much as he deserves, but we must love him as much as we are able. Love is an industrious affection; it must be active. It sets its hands working, and its feet running. Mary Magdalene loved Christ, and poured her ointment on him. God is the essence of beauty, a whole paradise of delight, and he must have the priority in our love. Our love to God must be above all things, as the oil swims above the water. If we love God, our desire will be after him. He who loves God, breathes after communion with him (Psa. 42:2). He who loves God is unable to find contentment in anything without him. Give a hypocrite corn and wine and though he pretends to love God, he is content without him. He who loves God hates that which separates him from God, and that is sin. You cannot love health without also hating poison, and you cannot love God without hating sin, which destroys your communion with him. If we have true love in our hearts for God we are grieved at the things that grieve him. Love is greatly grieved when it loses God’s sweet presence. Beg of God to give you a heart of love to him. Keep it flaming upon the altar of your heart. Do not love the world or your duty, but O, preserve your love for him!
Many young parents today are beside themselves with anxieties about their children, and, sadly, confusion too about how to nurture them. The ongoing addiction of our times to the heresy of modernity and its proud rejection and ignorance of the tested and tried wisdom of the past, inevitably leads to dysfunction in home and family life. Sadly, the older, wiser counsel of God’s Word, and especially of the book of Proverbs, is unknown or neglected. Yet Proverbs was composed specifically as a manual for home and family instruction, and to prepare us for life in the world. It is a divinely given handbook to help parents.
Proverbs and Ken Wingate following them shows us the way to possess the jewel of all jewels in a well-adorned life: wisdom that is rooted in the knowledge of, and reverential love for, God. Here is true wisdom that will prove to be worth its weight in gold in every age and culture. Ken Wingate now brings it into our needy culture, and I for one am grateful to him for sharing his gift as a father with other fathers and mothers, and sons and daughters too.
Here then is a book for parents to read on their own; for teenagers to read on their own; for parents and teenagers, who are willing to take the family challenge, to read round the table after dinner or on other occasions. It points us to Gods way. It promises us God’s grace. What could be better for us than that?