I locked the door, climbed on my bed, and tried to block out the singing, the banging, the general kid noise, at least for a few moments. I had reached a point of critical mass. If I did not spend some time by myself with God, I was going to explode.
So there it was. The wisest man who ever lived, Solomon, penned words breathed from God himself. "Let your heart keep my commandments."
I deal daily with behavior modification. Wrong words and actions have bad consequences. Children need redirection. However, this verse was not written solely for children, or teens, but for me.
I was the goody two-shoes as a child, the teacher's pet one could say. I aimed to please. For fear of getting caught, or disappointing someone, I avoided trouble. But where was my heart?
Fast forward to the present. Has much changed? I still try to please. I generally choose good. But where is my heart?
I expect much from my kids, but this verse challenged me to examine myself. Going through the motions simply because I know the right thing to do is one thing. Obeying because my heart is soft to God and his truth is another.
The rest of the chapter deals with favor and success, straight paths, discipline, wisdom and discretion, refuge and fear, and blessing others. Many of the verses I could quote by memory. Yet the first verses pound the stakes into the foundation on which all else is built. It starts with God's teaching and my proper heart response.