The Power of Proverbs

One thing I admire about the Amish approach to parenting is the use of proverbs and sayings and scripture verses to instruct the next generation. For my upcoming book, The Heart’s Frontier (co-authored with Lori Copeland, and available in March 2012), I had a terrific time looking at some of those proverbs, and describing how they could be put to use in the life of the main Amish heroine, Emma Switzer. No matter what situation Emma finds herself in, one of her grandmother’s often-repeated proverbs leaps to mind.

For instance, when Emma first encounters the Englisch cowboy Luke Carson, her grandmother lectures, “Remember your instruction, girl. Keep your eyes cast down until the Lord raises them. Then you will see only what He wants you to see.” Oh, how she tries to obey that instruction! Or once, when forced to wait for her papa to make a critical decision, Hard it is to wait on the Lord, but worse to wish you had. How often has that been true in my life.

I think Amish parents are onto something with their proverb-quoting. How often has a memorized scripture verse come to your mind at just the right time? If parents can help to instill those deeply-learned lessons that will arise at just the right time, what a wonderful legacy to leave our children with. Words are powerful, and when used to instruct and train, they can have an impact on an entire generation.

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