By Carl McRoy
Growing up in church, there was a song that the little kids loved and the big kids loathed. It was the repetitive, fidgety, and annoyingly memorable. . .
“Father Abraham had many sons
And many sons had father Abraham
I am one of them and so are you
So let’s all praise the Lord!”
Of course, there’s another well-known biblical figure with many children, King Solomon. No, this isn’t the part where we get into the juicy story line of how he added wives and, consequentially, multiplied offspring. That’s for another time. We’re talking about Solomon’s spiritual heirs, rather than physical progeny.
“My son,” or “my child,” is used 23 times in the book of Proverbs to remind us of the relational nature of Solomon’s counsel. He repeatedly uses the expression to show affection and heart-felt interest in the well-being of his audience. That’s because Proverbs wasn’t just Solomon’s generic advice to the general public or propositions for philosophers to argue about.
This collection of pithy poems and allegories was originally meant for royalty – children of the king. By recording and circulating his parental advice for his own children to the public, Solomon essentially invites everyone to be his adopted children. He implicitly appeals to outsiders to replace the words “my child” with our own names.
Why not make that your practice as you read Proverbs for yourself? Read aloud and say your name in place of the words “my son,” or “my child.” You have my pastoral permission to even write your name wherever you read “my child.”
Embrace the fact that you are the child of a king – a King who is wiser than Solomon.
Remember that you are royalty, with a richer inheritance than Solomon could offer his biological children.
Don’t allow yourself to be satisfied with low standards, just because they’re easily reached.
Your Father has high expectations of you and will empower you to rise to heavenly levels of excellence.
Through Solomon, God gave you practical advice to live out your high calling in the ordinary circumstances of life.
By Carl McRoy