“Pains as of a woman in childbirth come to him, but he is a child without wisdom; when the time arrives, he does not come to the opening of the womb.” Hosea 13:13
Tell stories of individuals who made wise decisions and the positive effects that followed. Then contrast these uplifting illustrations with those who chose an unwise path and suffered harm as a result. Stories stir the heart and illuminate the mind. We owe it to our offspring to engage them in conversations about real live people. Otherwise they remain oblivious, in a bubble of unrealistic living. Indeed, wisdom comes by allowing them to spread their wings and begin decision-making while they still live under your roof.
Start out while they're young by helping them make money decisions. Show them the pattern of “share, save, and spend” from your own financial management. Then lead them to do the same. Watch them smile as they experience the joy of generosity. Be proud as their discipline and patience grows. They will be able to save for something they want, purchasing their prize with cash. Be an example of smart spending, you may become a recipient of its fruit as your child learns how to be a savvy shopper. Financial wisdom is a practical gift whose principals you can use to train your child (Ephesians 6:4).
Good judgment in choosing friends is another facet of teaching your child the ways of wisdom. Make sure children understand the propensity to be like the people they “hang out with” (Proverbs 13:20). It’s wise to choose friends whose faith is growing and robust. Go with friends who lift up, instead of those who pull down. It is unwise to flirt with friendships that dilute growth with God. Discuss why they need to avoid friendships that become a wedge between child and parent. Wisdom does not settle for the shallow acceptance of just any friend. Wisdom has a high standard for friendship. Challenge your children to pray for friends who complement their faith, who move them closer to their heavenly Father. Wise friends rub off on your children in wise ways.
Lastly, discuss with your child regularly the wisdom of God. He gives wisdom (Proverbs 2:6). Read with them from the Bible, and discuss the meanings of particular verses. Make the discussion of Scripture a part of your everyday life. Take your Bible to church. Underline the phrases that leap from the page into your heart and mind. Then discuss its application to your life over lunch. Ask your child to hold you accountable to the truth God is teaching you.
You cannot improve on the wisdom of the Lord. God’s wisdom will follow them the rest of their lives. It will be with them when you are absent. You can be at peace when you have a child who is wise in the ways of God. You are wise when your goal is to grow a wise child. Wise children become wise adults.
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© 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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