As parents, we hope our kids can turn down drugs, alcohol, and pornography without hesitation. If only we could will them to make better choices, they could avoid much pain and experience more joy.
But as we lead our kids toward good choices, it’s important to ask: Is our goal to raise our kids in righteousness? Or, are we simply keeping our kids busy striving for earthly success?
Proverbs 23 is a call to steer clear from the things of this world because they yield a poor return on our investment. Riches and fame are fleeting, while wisdom and truth will bring ultimate joy and fulfillment.
If we want our kids to be wise, we need to guide them in pursuing wisdom for themselves. While it’s important to model character and integrity, we must also be intentional in molding teachable spirits. If our children learn to obey us, they’ll be prepared to submit to other authority figures in their lives, including the Lord.
We want our kids to make the right choices, but the only way they can succeed is by learning the difference between God’s truth and the messages they hear daily from media and culture. Sometimes, they’ll get it right. And sometimes, they’ll get it wrong. But even as our kids experience the consequences of bad choices, they gain the wisdom of choosing better next time.
Wisdom is not a pill to swallow for instant clarity. It is blooming inside our kids through a lifetime of choices. May we discern the wisdom of the ages in these proverbs for ourselves and pour them into our kids, so they create a bottomless well our kids draw from for the rest of their lives.
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