People everywhere want to know the secret to long life. Solomon was the founder of the long life scheme, God giving him long life as a result of his asking for wisdom. The secret is found in the very thing Solomon asked of God…wisdom.
In Solomon’s book of Proverbs, he writes to his children over and over about the value of instruction, guidance, and wisdom. Proverbs 23:23 says, “Buy the truth, and do not sell it, also wisdom and instruction and understanding.” Solomon details the value of wisdom in Proverbs, but he also tells his children how to obtain this valuable blessing. “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you,” (Proverbs 3:1). Here Solomon introduces a foundational truth to those who would be wise: listen to your parents and you will have a long, peaceful life. The idea that long life directly correlates with obeying one’s parents is a natural law. A natural law is nothing more than an observable truth born out in nature. The fact that children obeying their parents will result in a long, peaceful life is evidenced by children who disobey their parents, go out drinking with their friends, followed by driving a car, ending with perishing from a traumatic motor vehicle crash. This may not happen in every single incident a child disobeys their parents, but it is an observable fact that disobedient children have fewer days and a more troublesome way in life.
This precept is repeated by the Holy Spirit in the New Testament scriptures by the hand of Paul. Ephesians 6:1-3 says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” Three key principles are listed here: honor, obedience in the Lord, and a promise. Honor means to value and respect (Strong’s Dictionary). If a child values and respects their parents, they will undoubtedly obey their parent’s commands. However, Paul emphasizes obedience “in the Lord.” In the drunk driving incidence above, if the child had obeyed his parents, he would not have been drinking and driving at the same time. Then again, if he had parents instructing him “in the Lord” (according to the Lord’s instruction) he would not have been drinking in the first place. Finally, Paul repeats the same natural law that Solomon laid out: respect for parents equals long life and peace of days.
If you are a young person reading this, know that your parents are smarter than you give them credit. God knows this to be true as well. That is why God, through the prophets, teaches children everywhere to honor and obey their parents. After all, if you don’t obey your earthly father, how much more your heavenly Father?