Proverbs 1:5-a "Let the wise hear and increase in learning..."
Proverbs 29:17 "Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart."
Proverbs 9:9 "Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning."
Proverbs 18:2 "A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion."
Time spent helping your child learn how to be wise is well spent. Scripture, especially Proverbs, seems to point to a KEY reason for difficulty with teaching and learning.
Do a simple evaluation of your own frustration. Notice how often a trigger to that frustration will be that your "student" has a better opinion. When and if you notice foolish behavior, please take time and effort to instruct in wisdom.
You may be thinking, "I thought I was instructing my children to be wise but where is the fruit?" OR "How do I instruct my children to be wise?"
Consider this: I don't know and therefore I can't tell you how to instruct you children to be wise. BUT we know that wisdom is attainable (James 1:5). From James 3:17 we see that wisdom has these traits: pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
From this we can learn that we must ask God for each of these traits. But PRACTICALLY what's next?
Since each of us is unique (Psalm 119:73-74), the plan that works will, for each, be unique.
Let me share a few things that I have observed or read from others. But, remember this will not be exactly what and how you address foolish behavior.
Always, always, always go before God sharing your need and your desire to hear and obey His plan.
Please DO NOT underestimate the value of recognizing before God that your unique child and you need help in fulfilling His purpose in you lives. This is definitely a must. Any other idea will be, at best, a temporary help.
So remember: Ask God to direct you in drawing your child into intimacy with Him. Ask for cleansing hearts help. Ask for wisdom to see true foolishness and how to make the child hate foolishness and love what God loves. Pray for evil to be rebuked.
Have you received the idea this step of acknowledgement and surrender are important? In this step you confess to God you know HE (and not some book or method) is the only one who can put all variables into place to reveal a solution.
In my experience, I notice both myself and other parents going to God but not waiting for what we are seeking. We use prayer as a precaution or because we must or to satisfy a command. But here I'm referring to it as THE method for dealing with children who think more highly of themselves than they think of you or God.
So, what else might we do to encourage wisdom? Remember, if you failed to sincerely bow before God expecting revelation, then there should be no next step.
But for those sincerely seeking wisdom and who have approached God for it and asked Him how to teach it, here are a few things God has shown others:
*Be alert to ignoring or minimizing foolishness. That behavior reveals the heart. Foolishness impedes learning and is distasteful to God. We OFTEN ignore it because:
- It's cute.
- We need to finish this math right now.
- I've dealt with that already.
- It's just the way he is.
Be alert - it matters. You will be glad in the future.
*Study together. Proverbs and other Scriptures show the benefit of wisdom.
* Read about the lives of wise people of the past. Talk about wisdom vs. foolishness.
* Enjoy each other and fellowship with other believers, giving opportunity to practice wise choices.
* Put the focus on others. Acting wisely affects others. How? Be a servant for the purpose of the name of Jesus.
* Stay excited and positive. Show the "fool" what good choices he could make. Offer hope. Ask if the Gospel applies.
* Look at the training through the lens of love. Proverbs 3:11-12: "My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights."
* Recognize that your specific God designed discipline as the answer for helping your child choose wisdom. And it is a discipline - a life- long discipline.
When I started to write this I had no idea that it would be our only TIP for this month. But I am excited for you to see foolishness as the great interruption in your school AND to seek God for how to move toward wisdom. Blessings!