”Be not envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them, for their hearts devise violence, and their lips talk of trouble.” (Proverbs 24:1)
Proverbs is a highly parental book. Much of it was written by a father to his son. For this reason, much of the book is solid “Dad advice.” In this proverb, the father tells his son not to be “envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them,” followed by his reasons for such an exhortation.
But I want you to see a great parenting paradigm, the perspective of the father that his son might be attracted to evil people. This dad admits that his son might be tempted to be drawn to the ungodliness of the world. This is not a major revelation, but I find many modern Christian parents are terrified of the idea their children would even be attracted to anything in the culture. But your kids are not going to like your Carmen albums. Know that there is something attractive to them about the scene. They will be tempted to engage in and with evil people, causes, music, movies, lifestyles, etc. It is tempting. Solomon knew this. You should know this.
Where parents come in, though, is to help a child process that attraction. Though it might be tempting to follow the course of this world, a child needs to see that Jesus Christ is better, worthy of our emulation. They also need to see the end of the Proverb, that “their hearts devise violence, and their lips talk of trouble.” Your kids need to hear you talking about righteousness, that which is good. They also need to know where that worldly and attractive life is leading. It’s headed to violence and trouble. Your voice can help them navigate that pull.
But don’t freak out when they are drawn to the world. It’s normal. A good parent recognizes their children are humans, and humans are born into sin. We are by nature followers of the world, the flesh, and the devil (Ephesians 3:1-3). Only the gospel of Jesus Christ can rescue us from the course of this world, and God, in his rich love and mercy, saves people with the truth of his Son. Believe in the gospel. Believe in Jesus. Give him to your children, for he is the only way your children can be set free from the tendency to envy evil men. Danged rappers.