making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:16
Time is man’s opportunity to accomplish the work for which he is living. He who makes best use of the time considers what he parts with of lesser value than what is gained. It is God that calls you to labour; will you stand by or be doing other things while he expects duty from you? Moses must go to Pharaoh when God bids him, Jonah must go to Nineveh, and Abraham must sacrifice his son when God bids him. And will you go about your fleshly pleasures when God commands you to his service? Heaven and hell are the outcome of our welfare. Have we time to spare in the midst of such a fight? The loss of time is no small part of the enemy’s victory. Can we play and loiter away our time with so much serious work to do? We must arise and stir up our soul as if a bear were at our back, or our house were burning. Consider in review how profitable redeeming the time has been in time past. How cheerfully would we redeem the time when heaven, communion with God along the way, a life of holy strength and comfort, and a death full of joy and hope are to be gained! Look back on the times past, and tell me which part is sweetest to your thoughts? At death, I can tell you that it will bring unspeakable comfort to look back on a well-spent life. What a joy in going out of the world to be able to say, ‘I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do’ (John 17:4), or with Paul, ‘I have finished the race’ (2 Tim. 4:6-8). O, time well spent is a precious cordial to a soul that is making up its last accounts. How precious is time to a dying man! O what would an ungodly, unprepared sinner give for some of the time he wasted before as nothing! O how they wish they had made much of every minute! What is undone at death must be undone forever.
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?