Over the next month, our church will be studying the book of Proverbs together. I wanted to recommend two books that will help your family to dig into Solomon's book of wisdom. Both books list proverbs and classify them by subject. This arrangement makes these practical reference book son wise living for children, students, and parents. Signposts from Proverbs by Rhiannon Weber, Illustrated by Lawrence Littleton Evans (The Banner of Truth Trust, 1980). Weber emphasizes the practical and pointed nature of the proverbs. In the introduction, he states, "God knows the very real traps and pitfalls of this life, and only he has the wisdom to know how to deal with them." Weber's proverbs lists are based on the New International Version (NIV) and are accompanied by helpful teaching notes that explain more difficult words and cultural concepts. His approach is thoroughly Christ-centered. He understands Proverbs' statements as humorous, serious, truthful, and kind 'visual aids' that "help us to realize our sin and need of a Savior. They point us to the perfect righteousness of Christ and his ability therefore to be a Savior who can forgive us our sins, and who is able to hear a cry for help, and give strength and wisdom by his Spirit day by day."
God Loves You: Proverbs from the Bible by Malle Whitaker, Illustrated by Lynn Adams (American Bible Society, 1995). This American Bible Society resource contains another faithful classification of the Proverbs based on the Contemporary English Version (CEV). One of the most valuable portions of the book is "A Note to Parents and Teachers" at the back, which contains and elaborated version of the following seven steps to learning Proverbs with your children:
- Read the text out loud to a young child or allow an older child to read it out loud to you.
- Show the child where the passages are found in your own Bible.
- Talk with the child about what the proverbs mean and encourage the child to talk about experiences in his/her own life that the proverbs may bring to mind.
- Talk with the child about the differences between wisdom and foolishness.
- Discuss the illustrations with the child. Ask the child to explain what is going on int he picture and encourage him or her to describe what each person in the picture must be thinking or feeling.
- Encourage the child to memorize proverbs that he or she finds especially meaningful.
- Discuss with the child what it means to trust in God. Ask the child to describe how the proverbs show that God loves him/her.