“When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you.”
Proverbs 6:22 (NIV)
When we first brought our daughter home from the hospital, Bert and I would check on her constantly – at least once every hour, we would peer into her crib and just watch her. Sometimes we peeked in to simply watch in awe, and other times we did so to make sure she was still breathing. We watched over her diligently, marveling at our precious gift and making sure she was safe and well.
Each night when we put her in her crib and got ready to go to sleep ourselves, we played contemporary Christian music in her room as she fell asleep. We thought it would soothe her and impress godly wisdom upon her thoughts, even at such a young age. It may sound silly, but it was our way of beginning to share our faith with her and to instill our love for God in her. As her parents, we wanted to make sure our daughter would know the importance of wisdom.
In Proverbs 6, Solomon continues to remind his son of the importance of wisdom. He instructs him to keep his father’s commands and not forsake his mother’s teaching (Proverbs 6:20). In this chapter, both parents are mentioned in bestowing godly wisdom upon their child, and the child is encouraged to keep and follow this wisdom (Proverbs 6:21) because as verse 22 says, it will guide him, watch over him, and speak to him.
Wisdom can be found in and touches all aspects of our lives — when we’re walking, sleeping and going about our daily business.
1. When we walk, wisdom is our guide. The idea of walking implies movement or heading toward a destination. Often, there are many ways to get from one place to another and the route we choose can greatly affect our experience along the way. Have you ever tried to take a shortcut and found yourself lost, or worse, in a bad situation? Wisdom is like a road map to help us know the safest routes and the pitfalls along the way. Wisdom is found in God’s word (Psalm 119:105, Proverbs 6:23a).
2. When we sleep, wisdom watches over us. I love this idea of wisdom as my guardian, even while I’m sleeping. My story about Bert and I watching over Caroline is the closest illustration I could think of to show how attentive God is to us (Psalm 121:5-6 and Zephaniah 3:17). In the same way, when we heed wisdom, we are kept safe at night and can sleep sweetly (Proverbs 3:24).
3. When we are going about our day and need counsel, wisdom speaks to us. Wisdom is our counselor. How often do you consult your Bible when you have a problem? How in tune are you with the Holy Spirit, the counselor Jesus left with us (John 14:16, 25-26)?
Wisdom is always available to us, and we, as Christians, should embrace it. If you don’t know where to begin, consider what Moses told Israel in Deuteronomy 6:4-9:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” (NIV)
Like Solomon, Moses knew that no matter whether we were walking, talking or sleeping, we should love God with all our heart, soul and strength. This is our wisdom, and what a comfort to know that through this wisdom we have a guide, guardian and counselor to help us.