I’ve already begun to think of the advice I will dispense to my son one day:
“Brush your teeth.”
“A penny saved is just a penny, just put it in the penny tray at the fill-r-up”
“A foolish man sets his heart on a McRib; he does not consider the consequences.”
“You start dancin with a girl like that, you’ll be makin some babies.”
“When in doubt, cut the blue wire.
“Don’t touch that.”
“Invest in computer companies.”
“Never talk on your cell phone in a drive-thru”
“I never said that.”
“Look, kid, just stay away from gangs, drugs, and cyberporn on the internet, and you could be the President some day. Well, even if you do those things, apparently.”
Or maybe I should just stick to the ones given to me. I figure, if I’m going to teach my child the Proverbs of Solomon, I should probably reword them in a context he or she will understand. Maybe something a little like this:
The proverbs of Mr. Saul Mann, the son of Dave, regional manager of Izzt-Raul Inc.:
Wanna get smart? The good Lord give you one mouth and two ears, so listen up, son. Don’t be naïve. You’re young. So if you know what’s good for you, you’ll listen up. THE FIRST STEP IS TO FEAR GOD. If you don’t do that, you’re a fool.
Remember what mom and I said; If your buddies come up to you and they’re all like “hey dog, let’s go jump some schmuck and take his cash just for the thrill of it,” that’s a sign you’re heading down the wrong street. Trust me, what goes around comes around.
I always pictures wisdom as a woman. Like your grandmother, but she looks like a cute girl at school. Not the skank; the nice one. I know, it’s hard to picture. But you know how she always says to me, “Boy, do I have to smack you? How stupid are you?” Well, that’s how wisdom would feel if it was a woman. And if you don’t listen to her, you know what she is going to say? “I told you so. But no, you wouldn’t listen to me.” Ever done something stupid at school and a girl you like laughs at you? Doesn’t feel too good, does it? So when your mom and I give you advice, take our word for it. We’ve been there. You can do your own thing, but if you wait too long to grow up and start listening to what your mother and I have been saying all along, it might be too late. So I want you to picture that pretty girl at school standing at the bus stop reminding you what your mother and I told you.
And son, don’t roll your eyes at me. If you don’t listen now, you’re going to come crawling back home to mom and dad for help and we might not be here to help. I want you to look for wisdom like you used to go looking for quarters under the couch cushions. I want you to take my advice with the same gratitude you get your weekly allowance. Then you’ll get what I mean when I say “Fear God and know him.” Otherwise, you’re gonna trip and fall. He’s your guiding light, your guardian. He knows what’s best for you. He’s watching out for you. You’ll see what I’m saying
You’re brain is like a sponge. Soak in all the wisdom you can. Learn it until you love it. Run from evil. RUN from it. I’m talking about when the guys tell dirty jokes at school, your friends who left the church to do what they want, rebel rousers, the party crowd, kids you know are up to no good—— watch out for all that. And stay away from trashy girls-— I don’t care how hot they are; I don’t care how flirty they are. They don’t care about God or their body——just want to get in your pants. All you’re going to find there is death. Or genital warts. It’s a slippery slope, son. All it takes is once night alone. Choose your friends wisely. Stick with your youth group. You look out for them and they’ll look out for you. People can get away with all they want when they’re alive, but when Jesus comes back it’s not going to look pretty for a lot of people. I want you to go to Heaven.
And son, I know I sound like I’m preaching, but just remember what I’m saying. You don’t want to die at the age of forty-five like your uncle because you made too many big mistakes. Be nice to other people, I don’t care how they treat you. They’ll get what’s coming to them. If it takes writing scriptures on post-it notes and putting them all around your room and your textbooks, then do it. Stamp it on your forehead. Your aunt bought you that “WWJD” bracelet for a reason. It’s not to show off Jesus. It’s to remind you of who you are and whose you are. Other kids look up to you. I know you don’t believe me, but they do. Trust God, even when it doesn’t seem to make sense, even when others laugh at you. You’re not always right. It’s like taking medicine. You won’t like it at first, but it keeps you healthy. It builds you up. Give back to God some of what you earn. He’s the reason you have it, you know. It’ll help you out in the end. Like I said, what goes around comes around. In this life or the next. When I’m stern with you it’s because I love you——same way with God.
A wise man is a happy man. Money doesn’t do it. All the money in the world won’t buy you a date with a nice, modest girl who can love you. She’s not going to fall for that. I want you to find a girl like that. Hold on to her when you find her.
God had wisdom when he made you and me. When he made this earth——the mountains, the ocean, the sky, everything beautiful, things we can’t begin to understand. Don’t ever forget that. It’s like a warm jacket. Don’t lose sleep over the things you can’t understand. Remember when you were afraid of the dark? Being afraid of bullies is just the same. There’s nothing to worry about. God’s watching over you.
Be like the good Samaritan, even if it kills you. Give what you can. I know you’ve heard this a thousand times from grandma, but it’s better to give than to receive. Oh, and please don’t sneak in to Mr. Fender’s yard anymore. And if someone tries to pick a fight with you at school, walk away. It’s not worth a broken arm. If you want to prove you’re a man, be civilized. That’s what really turns a girl on. God loves everyone, but he punishes people don’t listen to him, and he has a reward for us in Heaven if we do what’s right.
Remember who you are and whose you are. More importantly you’re a Christian. God’s watching you. But he also loves you. And so do your mother and I. Be careful out there. And if you need any help, you can always come to one of us. We love you, son. We always will.