Hand me downs
I gave my daughter a wedding gift that I had been working on for over 12 years. I gave her my words written in the margins of a Bible. In those margins were my observations and applications of God’s Word to everyday life. In that Bible are Holy Scriptures and personal prayers. That Bible was an important hand me down.

Hand-me-downs are items passed along from one person to another. Hand-me-downs can be anything from clothing items to automobiles. They can come from parents to children or can be exchanges made between friends. Whatever they are and whoever they move between, it’s always nice when someone is mindful about something that may be helpful.

The Book of Proverbs is 31 chapters of hand-me-downs. The first 30 chapters are the wisdom of a father passed along to his son. The final chapter is the voice of a mother doing the same. The Bible’s Proverbs are the words of wisdom we should hand down to our children.

Here are some words of wisdom from the Book of Proverbs that parents should hand down to their children.

Relationship with God

Some people say that their relationship with the Lord is private. That’s unfortunate if you are a parent. Your children should be privy to your relationship with God. They should see your spiritual habit. They should have the opportunity to hear and watch you pray. You should openly share with your children what you are learning about the Lord.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7 (ESV)

Respect for Authority

As a parent, your authority doesn’t come because you are bigger, older, your opinion is better, or “that’s just the way it is.” As a parent, you should not teach your children that their ultimate aim is to please you. You are aiming them to please God (Prov. 3:5-8). Respect comes from learning responsibility, reward, and consequence (Prov. 23:13, 28:13).

Steward Your Stuff

As parents, we make a big mistake when we become the deep well of our children’s wants; their bedrooms and our driveways filled with fabulous prizes. It’s as if tricycles, bicycles, and cars are rites of passage rather than responsibilities. As a parent, there is a joy in buying things for our children, but we cannot neglect to strategically teach the wisdom of work, save, and spend (Prov. 6:6-11). Buying on demand is a quick way to put your children into poverty. If you want them to be financially wise, teach them how to work (not an allowance), save, and spend. 

Sex and Self-Control

As a Christian parent, an important message is that sex outside of marriage is wrong, but it is vital that we also teach that sex within marriage is right and rewarding (Prov. 5:1-23). Model masculinity and femininity. Long before you ever have “the talk(s)” with your teens or pre-teen, you should be teaching self-denial and steering them away from our depraved desire of constant self-gratification. 

Your words and your wisdom are substantial hand-me-downs. Read the Book of Proverbs and glean from God’s Word these ongoing conversations we are to have with our kids. 

Bible Study and Challenge

Read Proverbs 1.

  • How does this passage characterize wisdom?
  • After reading Proverbs 1, complete the following sentence. The Biblical aims a parent should have for our children are . . . . . . . . . .
  • What are the consequences of ignoring Biblical wisdom?


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