“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck” (Proverbs 1:8-9)
Instruction and teaching have very different meanings in this passage than one might think. It appears they are one in the same, but they are not. Though if married together they make a beautiful garland and chain that graces the head of a child with wisdom and adorns their neck with a medal of honor.
Instruction is often paralleled with education and teaching. But in this passage it refers to discipline, chastening and correction. A father’s role is important in this area, so that their child can grow with the correct perception of the world: its foolishness as well as its benefits. Instruction takes time, and often fathers don’t have the time. If no time is available, the father will either skirt the instruction all together or it’s hurried without love. Notice how a father instructs his child in Proverbs 4:1-4, “Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding…when I was a boy in my father’s house, still tender, and an only child of my mother, he taught me and said…” This father related to the son. He shared his experience of when he was a boy with his father hence saying, “when I was a boy.” I can literally see this father bending down on his knee looking into the eyes of his son and sharing his experience with him. Such grace and strength! Instruction is best given when one relates and equates themselves with the learner. A child will receive instruction with greater eagerness to follow. Fathers and mothers alike can learn from this. Relate to your children; don’t just relay information to them.
In the Hebrew teaching specifically means to teach the law, manners, customs, prophetic (visionary) teaching, and direction in human and divine matters. Wow! What a charge, ladies! In other Proverbs a father is given the same charge, but don’t think for a minute that a mom isn’t just as responsible in teaching her children these same important lessons in life. God designed a mom and dad to be a team when it comes to raising children. When instruction and teaching work together, they link a bond in the child that is not easily broken.