Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. At what age do you think you became (or will become) an adult? What telltale signs, privileges or rites of passage marked (or will mark) the occasion?
2. Can you recall your first major Father-Son or Mother-Daughter talk about what it means to be an adult? What prompted it: concerns about driving? drinking? smoking? college? work? voting rights and responsibilities? mom’s apron strings too tight?
3. Where do you think the conversation of this chapter took place: family dinner? son’s 21st birthday? father-son woodshed chat? or what?
4. How many don’ts are in this chapter? What positive alternatives are given for someone who chooses “not to”?
5. What is it about the king’s fare, a stingy man’s offering or strong drink which we are to avoid (verses 1 – 8, 30 – 34)? What is the point of such abstinence?
6. How are we to regard the fool? The poor and fatherless? “Sinners”? Drunkards? Wayward persons?
7. Who is this Defender of those who lose property and lose their fathers (verses 10 and 11; also the kinsman-redeemer in Leviticus 25:25 and Ruth 3:12, 13; and the Deliverer in Genesis 48:16 and Exodus 6:6)?
8. What is the rod of discipline (verses 13, 14; also Proverbs 13:24)? Is it stoning (Deuteronomy 21:18 – 21)? What is the result of using “it”? Of not doing so?
9. What makes a parent happy (verses 15, 16, 24, 25)? If you are a parent, what event would make you most glad?
10. If getting “wisdom, discipline and understanding” were compared to a football game, where are you?
- still in the locker room, getting suited up?
- on the bench, resting from your turn on defense?
- stopping for a Gatorade break?
- running with the ball on offense?
11. What does this “future hope” depend upon (verse 19; see also Proverbs 24:14, 20 and Psalm 37:37)? To what extent are you sharing in that hope for yourself? For others?
12. What effect do all the negative words in this chapter have on you? Do they make you feel negative? If so, how so?
13. If you were advising abstinence to your child, or a friend, who would you word it? Where would you put the emphasis?
14. On a scale of 1 – 10, how much do you agree with verses 13 and 14? If less than 5, what practical alternative to the rod do you suggest? How does your alternative compare with how you were raised? What uses and abuses of rod-like discipline are you concerned about?
15. To what extend do you identify with this father’s other concerns(verses 19 – 35)? With his wisdom? His joy? What advice (given here) have you found most relevant to your family situation?
16. In Solomon’s day, it was the duty of a relative to take care of widows and children who lost their husband/father. Who would take care of you in a similar situation?