“Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood: that our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace” (Ps. 144:11-12).
The task of bringing up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord is a high calling. And in these two verses, we see both the goal and one of the means. The goal is that our sons may grow up as hearty trees and that our daughters would be like polished and beautifully carved palace stones. This plainly implies that we are raising our sons and daughters in somewhat different ways with different glories in mind, but only a fool would say that one is better than the other. They are different, but they are wonderfully different. And so part of the task of parents is to embrace these differences, these different glories that God has given to each of our children, and by faith cultivate them, encourage them.
But the prior verse also gives us one of the means by which we encourage and cultivate maturity in our sons and daughters. David prays that God would deliver him from the hand of foreigners, whose mouth speaks vanity, and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood. Obviously, this applies to friendships, the movies you’re watching, the music you’re listening to, the video games you’re playing, and what you are writing and reading and sharing online. Are you listening to vanity? Are you watching falsehood? Are you inviting foreigners into your home, into your heart, into your head?
But parents, notice this: David is praying in the first instance that he would be delivered from these people who speak vain things and have right hands of falsehood. Parents have no business expecting their children to grow up into wisdom if they are not chasing after it themselves. If you do not want your children to be susceptible to vain things and falsehood, let your prayer be that God would rid you of those things. It’s relatively easy to see sin, folly, and immaturity in your children, but if you would see your sons and daughters grow up into glory, into hearty plants and palace stones, ask God to deliver you from vanity and falsehood so you can actually help them.