but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:32
Christ pleads as an advocate for his people. He pleads the very weaknesses for which Satan would have them damned. ‘Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?’ The reason we are not totally extinct is the Father’s mercy: he is gentle, longsuffering and merciful to us. He knows we are sick, weak, and subject to slips, stumbles and falls. His heart is towards us and he carefully measures affliction lest we sink. He does not pay in measure of our offence or we could not stand. He spins out his patience to the utmost length. He will count our little as much. He will excuse the souls of his people, and lay the fault upon their flesh. Christ our advocate stands as friend, and pleads for us as he does. Christ pleads the infirmity of his people against Satan for our advantage. Are we not saved from sin by grace? He has given us the Spirit of grace to help us, for we can do nothing good. God has put the righteousness of Christ upon us to cover our nakedness. We have no merit of our own. God allows us to ride in the bosom of Christ to the grave, and from there, in the bosom of angels to heaven. His Son is our head, priest, advocate, savior, and captain. God’s foresight of our weakness kindles his heart of compassion to us, and puts him to devising things for our relief. I have seen men provide for their children that have been most infirm and helpless. So our Advocate gathers his lambs in his arms and carries them in his bosom. I know the tears that stand in a parent’s eyes as he searches to the bottom of his purse to find out what he may do for his sick child. Christ pleads for us in our infirmities against the devil, and the Almighty yearns for us and wraps us up in his compassions. When God reveals all things to us, we will see how many times he pleaded for us and redeemed us by his pleading.
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?