What Is It Like When a Dog Returns to His Vomit?

August 7, 2023

Everybody is getting ready for the start of school. Here are some stories that are supposed to be true stories of how funny school life can be. At one school there were two first-grade teachers. Their names were Miss Paine and Mrs. Hacking. One morning the mother of a first-grade student called in to get an excuse for her daughter during the flu epidemic that had broken out.

The school secretary asked, “Is she in Paine or Hacking?”

The confused mother responded, “She feels fine. We have company and I’m just keeping her home.”

A teacher was walking through the halls of a middle school. A new substitute teacher was standing outside his classroom with his forehead against a locker. She heard him mutter, “How did you get yourself into this?”

Knowing he had been assigned to a difficult class, she tried to offer moral support. She asked, “Are you okay? Can I help?”

He lifted his head and replied, “I’ll be fine as soon as I get this kid out of his locker.”

Many years ago, when my sons were in elementary school, I started the school year reading them the Book of Proverbs. This amazing book was written by King Solomon, and is full of wise statements that you can organize your life around. My goal was to teach my sons that the most important thing they need to learn are the things that have to do with God. When I got to Proverb 9:10 I would teach them about what true wisdom was. This Proverb says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

This is my favorite proverb because it reminds me of the difference between being smart and being wise. My college physics professor was the most brilliant man I’ve ever met, but he was an atheist, and had no use for understanding God. Through the decades, I remember many lessons he taught and a lot of the information he shared. I can also say that he said many things that lacked true wisdom because he didn’t understand how the world was created by God.

What is the most important gift you can give your children? There are several answers that people can agree on: a stable family, a safe home, a college education, and sports opportunities. But life is hard, and life’s events can always destroy our best plans. Knowledge of God and the power to have the victory in all of life’s experiences only comes from having a saving relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. My wife and I made this our top priority in raising our children. As we watch them raise their children in the church, and with faith in their homes, we have no regrets.

We were able to raise them in a safe and stable home. We were not able to provide college educations. None of them were gifted with the talents needed to get college scholarships in sports. The GI Bill helped immensely in their college educations as they served in the US Army with distinction. Through it all, faith was always at the center of everything our family did. It made us a very strong family that has enjoyed great victories over all of life’s challenges.

Beginning on the first day of school, I would put the boys to bed and then pick up again right where I left off reading Proverbs. It gave me many opportunities to teach them about my faith and my values. We laughed a lot too. Proverbs speaks a lot about fools and stupid people. The boys always thought those were funny as Solomon used derogatory words that we don’t use anymore if we are trying to be sensitive.

Certainly, we had our biggest laugh when we got to Proverb 26:11, “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.” The laughter added to the fun of reading the Bible and learning about God. I recommend this way of teaching children and grandchildren about what it means to have Biblical wisdom and the knowledge of God. There is nothing more important that we can teach our children.

When was a time in your life that you learned the most about God? How would you answer the question, “What is the most important gift you can give your children?” If you believe teaching them about God is the most important thing, then how do you integrate the opportunities to teach about God into your family life? May God bless our community with a great and safe school year! (To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles see, www.lagrangepres.org).