The Book of Proverbs is full of admonitions and lessons for both parents and children on how to live in the world but not be of the world. One of the key admonitions in Proverbs is to “get wisdom.”
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
This wisdom is wisdom from God, or godly wisdom. Proverbs 2:6 says, “For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” What is wisdom? It is the right application of knowledge. A person can have a knowledge of God’s Word but lack wisdom on how to rightly apply it in the situation they are in. To know how to rightly apply the Word in life’s various situations is “more precious than rubies.”
She [Wisdom] is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
For children, godly wisdom is a characteristic they can attain very early in life and continue to increase in all their life as they grow spiritually. From the time Jesus was around two years old, Luke 2 tells us that he grew and became strong, “filled [to capacity] with wisdom.” When he was twelve, he “increased in wisdom….”
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
Yes, God gives wisdom to children. Look at what Daniel 1 teaches us of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom….
Parents can help their children “get wisdom” by teaching them in word and in deed how to love, honor, and respect the one true God, for as Proverbs 9 teaches us, the respect of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
The fear [respect] of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
If the respect of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, then one of the greatest ways we can help our children get godly wisdom is to teach them to respect the Lord their God as we do.
From Old Testament times, God designed parents to be a child’s first teachers. In Deuteronomy 6, He admonishes parents to respect the Lord their God, to keep all His statutes and commandments, to remember that He is the one true God, and to love Him with all their heart, soul, and might (Deuteronomy 6:1-5). Then He instructs parents to keep these words in their hearts and diligently teach them to their children.
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
God has given this responsibility to parents; and as they carry it out, they connect their children with the God of all wisdom.
Respecting God involves our obedience and our devotion to Him. Regarding devotion to God, parents can help their children build respect for God by getting them into His Word on a consistent basis. The Scriptures are given by inspiration of God—they are God-breathed. When children read the Scriptures, they can learn of God and from Him. Here are two simple steps we can take in this regard:
Read or direct them to scriptures that help them learn of God’s love, His faithfulness, His power, His grace. The more they get to know Him, the more they can love and respect Him.
Have them read a chapter a day from the Gospels to learn more about God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who is the way to the Father. Jesus Christ loved and reverenced God in word and in deed. He always did the Father’s will. By observing his walk as God’s Son, they can learn how to respect God in their daily walk.
Regarding obedience, this isn’t something that comes naturally for children. It’s something they learn. Even Jesus Christ learned obedience (Hebrews 5:8). Helping our children learn obedience involves teaching them how to turn their thoughts and actions toward God’s Word and His ways when they are off track.
As children grow, they can oftentimes become wise in their own eyes. This is part of the foolishness that is bound in the heart of a child (Proverbs 22:15). Keeping the Word before them helps them have God’s wisdom to turn to when distracted by the world. And the more devoted they are to God and His Word, the easier this becomes.
Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear [respect] the Lord, and depart from evil.
As parents, we can teach our children what is right according to God’s Word. If they come home with behaviors influenced by the world, we can instruct them on how to turn their ways to what honors and respects God.
Let’s build an expectation for our children getting wisdom throughout their upbringing. No matter their age, we can start today by getting them in God’s Word so that they can know Him and be taught of Him. Connecting our children with God via His Word and via a knowledge of His Son Jesus Christ connects them to God’s infinite wisdom. This is how we give them the best opportunity to walk dynamically for God. This is how they can learn to rightly apply God’s Word in various situations so that they can fully enjoy the life He has called them to.