Hear, my children, the instruction of a father, and give attention to know understanding. —Proverbs 4:1
The Native Americans of Michigan were the state’s first highway route engineers. With few exceptions, Michigan’s major highways follow the trails they cut through the wilderness hundreds of years before the white man came. A trail was 12-18 inches wide, and for safety the people followed single file. Then pack horses followed these trails, widening them. Later came wagons, and the trails became dirt roads and then highways.
In a similar way, Solomon followed the trail of his father and in turn paved the way for his sons and grandsons. He did this by encouraging his sons to heed his instructions just as he had followed the sound teaching of his father (Prov. 4:4-5). So this father, giving his sons good practical and spiritual counsel, was passing on what he had learned from the boys’ grandfather, David, who was called a “man after [God’s] own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14; Acts 13:22). The younger generation of believers often learns best about God from the family.
Our physical and spiritual children watch the path we’re taking. As God’s men and women, let’s make certain we cut a righteous, wise, and clear trail. Then if ongoing generations choose to follow, the trail can become a highway—an ongoing legacy to God’s glory.