Sometimes, getting across to children is all about word choice. Apparently, an effective way to get across to my brothers and me was to be told, “Don’t be stupid!” This command generally only came when we were going somewhere without our parents. These were the magic words of instruction given. We understood from experience what “don’t be stupid” entailed and punishment would be dealt if the words were not heeded.
Kids could save themselves much pain if they would listen to the advice of parents. If you think your parents do not know what they are talking about, at least listen to God’s inspired word. A close parallel to the “Shema” found in Deuteronomy 6:4ff is Proverbs 6:20-23, “My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you. For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life.” Maybe parents do know what they are talking about!
There are far too many homes being shredded by Satan and his temptations of lust of the flesh. The wise parents’ advice is “to preserve you from the evil woman…Do not desire her beauty in your heart, and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes…a married woman hunts down a precious life…can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched? So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; none who touches her will go unpunished. People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry, but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold; he will give all the goods of his house (Proverbs 6:24-31). What a disaster.
Dishonor, disgrace, jealousy, and fury will come upon such adulterous people. There will be no compensation or accepting gifts to make things right. (Proverbs 6:33–35). The following translation hits home with my Dad’s instruction, “But if you go to bed with another man’s wife, you will destroy yourself by your own stupidity” (Proverbs 6:32). In other words, “Don’t be stupid!”