By Sarah Humphrey, Crosswalk.com
In a world that constantly sends children information, it’s important to know that the kids around us are being influenced with truth, integrity, and healthy tools. As parents, caregivers, teachers, neighbors, and friends, we have the responsibility to help guide kids of all ages through a challenging and conflicting time in history. Young people can receive hundreds of lies per day just by television screens, kids around them, tablets, current culture and advertisements, and so much more. Giving children opportunities to hear about good role models, Biblical characters, and other godly leaders is a great way to help them decipher the difference between what the world is teaching and what God says is actually true.
Solomon is an example of such a person! Not only did Solomon do a lot of things right, but he also made mistakes and suffered for them. He’s an excellent example of a human being who was touched by the hand of God, who worked hard with what he knew, acquired much, and also made difficult detours. At his best, he asked for wisdom and godly instruction and shared that with us all. At his worst, he forgot some of the things he had previously learned and ended up walking away from God’s heart. Children need to hear both the victories and the defeat of Bible heroes to understand God’s discipline, sovereignty, truth, grace, and mercy. Solomon is a picture of that for everyone who hears his story. It’s important to know that God can be gracious and generous with us and that we need to fully follow through with His instructions.
If we were to sit down and look directly at Solomon’s life, there are several reasons why his writings and life give us a better understanding of God’s heart. In many ways, we can share in Solomon’s good characteristics, his heart for wisdom, and his hard work. He was a great example of honesty, truth, common sense, and even critical thinking.
If kids today want to chew on a few principles from Solomon’s life, here is a small list of his best characteristics:
1. Solomon Was a Smart Man
When asked by God what he wanted, Solomon could have asked for anything! He could have been selfish by asking for more money, a bigger house, or expensive food to eat, but he didn’t. He chose to ask God for wisdom. He wanted to know God’s heart and mind for the matters he would encounter in his lifetime. Practice today by praying and asking for God’s wisdom; He is sure to give it to you just like He did with Solomon.
2. Solomon Was a Builder
Solomon was wise to use his resources to create beauty, the temple, and other buildings. Solomon showed ingenuity and strength by using his smarts to build instead of consume. Many people want to do things that are easy or want others to do the hard work, but Solomon built from scratch and learned the art of architecture. This proved that he was very intelligent and that he applied what he learned. Practice building with your hands, through art, nature, or with the tools in front of you!
3. Solomon Was Honest
Honesty is a quality we all can admire. No one wants to be lied to or told something that isn’t accurate. Solomon’s writings are full of honest wisdom, telling his son and readers the truth about what God was sharing with him. In a day and age where information is everywhere, Solomon was sure to give honesty and do so bluntly. Being honest is a valuable characteristic for friendships, relationships, and parent-child interactions. There are a lot of gray areas in life, but being able to understand right from wrong is a great asset of Proverbs. Practice being honest by speaking slowly and with intention.
4. Solomon Was a Critical Thinker
If you look through Solomon’s Proverbs, many of his instructions are concrete and to the point. There is no way to miss what he is saying. Others, though, feel a little like a riddle, which engages readers to look further into other Scriptures and prayers for more information and guidance. God is not always easy to find; sometimes, we have to search Him out and look deeper into what He is saying. Solomon offers us that journey to “become a King” as well (Proverbs 25:2). Practice doing puzzles, word searches, or reading books that help you think and grow!
5. Solomon Was Wealthy
When Solomon did what God instructed, he gained wealth and riches. This wasn’t in order to be self-serving or selfish, but it was a reward for a job well done. It also gave him the funds to continue serving. We need money to build, and those who are wealthy through healthy means can build the way God has designed. They also can be generous to those in need. Solomon shows us how to acquire wealth in a God-honoring way and gives back to those who need it. Practice both earning and saving money while also donating some of it to an important cause!
Though Solomon’s life doesn’t end on a high note, it’s important to see what he offered through the majority of his writings. He was a wise man, with a heart to see God and with a heart to build the way God designed. Though he made mistakes (like we all do and will), he is a brilliant man to study from Scripture. He carries many characteristics that offer kids the ability to learn wisdom, think through hard topics, consider what God is saying, know the truth, and make good choices.
Solomon gave us wisdom that will last a lifetime in a current culture of uncertainties and even lawlessness. By considering his text with prayer, application, and purpose, Solomon’s Proverbs have the opportunity to change the world. The next time you or a young one in your life needs to hear the wisdom of a King, open your Scripture to the Proverbs, and let Solomon guide you through a wealth of common sense, care, and instruction. You will be so glad you did. It will be a fountain of life to you and to everyone you encounter!
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Sarah Humphrey is a wife and homeschool mom to three kids while also working as an artist, author, life coach, and voice actor. Her writing and doodling can be found in her devotional, “40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood” and her voice in several commercials, children’s books, and audiobooks. Her education and love for holistic science also lead her to teach small workshops on health, wellness, and creativity. She loves encouraging women and kids to embrace self-care, utilize their gifts, and become leaders in the community around them. Her latest devotional for tweens, “Solomon Says” releases this November. Until then, you can follow her Instagram @the.table.and.bath!