After an extremely restless night, I was reminded of the scripture which instructs us to buy the truth and sell it not. I got up about 4:30am after repeated attempts to fall asleep and looked up the verses in several translations. As I read the broader context of these few words, I began to understand a little more about humanity and myself.
Listen to your father’s advice and don’t despise an old mother’s experience. Get the facts at any price, and hold on tightly to all the good sense you can get. The father of a godly man has cause for joy—what pleasure a wise son is! So give your parent’s joy!
Proverbs 23:22-25Living Bible (TLB)
What illuminated the motives set deeply in my heart burst into full view in a flash. Bookending the original proverb was the reason for seeking wisdom in the first place. Do you see it? It is to receive and apply the wisdom of your parents, so that they may be proud of their child. In the above version-to give them joy.
For me, I had an abusive childhood that changed and wounded me deeply. This presents a challenge when it comes to the desire to bring them joy. In reading this scripture I am made more aware of how I have actively brought destruction upon myself and others for deeper reasons than I previously considered. I have repealed truth, lacked good judgement, and been foolish in just about every way imaginable.
The reality is that many of us are dealing with a childhood not marked by Biblical wisdom and instruction, but stained with physical, emotional and sexual abuse. That makes it difficult to fulfil this and many other commands in the Bible.
Would you like the numbers of those who struggle with compulsive addictive behaviours and their relevance to an abused childhood? Are you courageous enough to hear them, accept and understand what they mean to you? Well, here they are-citing several sources, anywhere from 83% to 97%.
This is sobering information for the Christian to assimilate, but I fear most are unwilling to acknowledge the facts. Could it be the reason so many harmful dysfunctions outside the church are just as present within its structure? Is this one of the primary reasons for such high rates of porn addiction, infidelity and divorce? I believe this to be true.
I have not been a man who could ever be accused of being wise, as I have leaned fairly hard to the foolishness side. I accept my responsibility as an adult with all the power of thought and choice that anyone possesses. I don’t blame others for my misdeeds, but in the span of my existence and experience, I attempt to tie things together so I can make sense of what was and is, and yes, even learn and grow.
Tracing moral lapses and our lack of good judgement, in effect the foolishness of men, back to our childhood isn’t a popular concept within the church. We want to cut the strand between our lives before salvation and after. We believe that the gift of eternal life somehow wipes away a lifetime of hurts, and in many ways it does.
But, unless we accept reality, join together and deal with the sometimes ugly truth of our past, this will remain a massive barrier to our individual healing and the health and future of the church as a whole.