“Don’t Even Go There”

How many of us have said those words? I know I have, and recently, as I continue on my trip through the book of Proverbs I was reminded that people have been saying those words (Well, kind of, anyway) for a long, long time.

In Proverbs 7 a story is told about a group of young men, among them one who “lacked judgment.” He was going down the street near “her” corner, walking along in the direction of “her” house. To paraphrase, the “her” in this story was “just a devil woman with evil on her mind.” But the youth, lacking judgment, was taken in by her wily ways “like an ox going to the slaughter, a deer steeping into the noose or a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life.” (v.22-23) Get the picture? No doubt, this was not a good path to take.

This story is told to another young man by the father who was trying to teach him, protect him and prepare him for the dangers that would lie in wait for him. The dad’s advice, “Son, don’t even go there.” (Yeah, it’s another paraphrase)

The actual words are more like, “Pay attention to what I say. Don’t let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths. Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.” (v24-27)

Yikes! Okay, I think we get this picture, too. Or do we? Because it seems like even though we are often given some of the same warnings, we are like the young guy lacking judgment. We head right down the road sure we can handle whatever comes our way or just not caring about the danger. I think it was AC/DC who bragged about being on the highway to hell. (I didn’t realize they had gotten that from Proverbs, did you?) What’s worse is that we often see the danger, but do nothing to stop others we see heading down the path of whatever “her” may be waiting there.

As I read these words, I am reminded how important it is that we keep saying these words to our own kids. Who among us hasn’t watched some scary movie all the while yelling at the “judgment lacking youth” who decided to open the door, follow the sound, or look in the closet?

We’re like, “No! Don’t do it! Turn around! Don’t even go there!” And although we are more than willing to warn a fictional kid on the big screen, we often fail to give the same warning with the same urgency to our own children.

Of course, even more than just telling our kids where not to go, we need to be prepared to give the direction of where they need to go. We need to help them program their spiritual GPS so that they can stay on the right course and stay out of danger’s way.

Proverbs is a great place to share with your kids both the dangers and rewards of the choices we all make in ways that are easy to understand and sometimes even a little comical. With 31 total chapters, simply start with the chapter that corresponds with the calendar date and read verses from that chapter with your child. (The number of verses you read may be determined by the age of your children or the topic you are covering.) You can work through the whole book of Proverbs each month using different verses every time. If you miss a day, just check the calendar and pick up on that day/chapter.

Also, we found the book pictured above, Proverbs for Parenting, a topical book compiled by Barbara Decker, to be a great resource as we navigated the parenting pathway. Decker simply takes all the proverbs and categorizes them by virtue. Need some verses on honesty? She’s gotcha covered. Laziness and hard work? It’s in there, too. I suppose if I were parenting today I would just Google them . . . maybe not. You know how moms like books!

No matter what method you choose, choose now to spend time directing your children towards the right path through God’s word, and if you are still tempted not to be in the Word with your kids, take this one ordinary woman’s warning. . .”Don’t even go there!”–a pretty important warning to ignore.

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