Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 20:7
"A righteous man who walks in his integrity. How blessed are his sons after him."
This is the Hebrew word saddiq which means conformity to an ethical or moral standard. Notice that it does not mean that one avoids violating a standard; it means living up to a positive standard. A righteous person is not one who avoids violating the Ten Commandments but one who lives out the two great commandments: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God and thy neighbor as thyself. I am not righteous just because I don't do something; I am righteous because I do something.
Now it is very important to note that our best righteousness cannot earn or deserve God's favor. It is not good enough; it is never untinged with selfishness. The righteousness that pleases God is that which comes through faith. But it is clear that the righteous person is the one who trusts God to act in beneficial and loving ways to those around them; trusting that God will reward them for their sacrifice.
Do not believe that you have pleased God by what you have not done. Seek to please God by trusting Him to do positive actions that will meet the needs of others.
This is the Hebrew word mahalak which means walk, journey, lifestyle, way of life. Clearly Solomon is saying that one of the greatest blessings that a parent can give to their children is to be known as a person who goes about doing good things for people; one who has escaped the gravity of selfishness. This is crucial on so many levels – it is role modeling; it is training; it is legacy; it is benefit of the doubt, etc.
This is the Hebrew word tumma which means complete, no deceptive parts, or whole. One gets the whole of the person, not some politically scheming part.
There is a level of happiness that is passed on to children because the dad did not get caught up in the whole rat race and looking out for only himself. This is such a powerful legacy to the children.
Children subconsciously adopt the goals of the parents many times without the rules of the parents. So if parents have as their goal the blessing of others, then this goal is embraced and the pursuit of selfish ends is not held up as the end-all-to-beat-all for the children. If children can embrace the idea that the ultimate goal of life is not to get what you want but to give what you can, then they will live a much fuller and better and even happier life.
Too many people are trying to be happy by getting instead of wise giving of themselves, their time, energy, and resources.
It is my desire to bless my children with this gift of happiness. I hope, pray, and plan that my children will see me seeking to bless others even at a sacrifice to myself or our family, at times, in order to love others. If I can accomplish this, then they will not dash down the dead-end road of self-gratification as the pathway to fulfillment. Self-gratification cannot get a person where they want to go. This truth has to be modeled. Dana and I will know how good a job we have done as we look at our grandchildren and the values and pursuits that they have.