Talking about wisdom & foolishness

Posted on January 31, 2015 · Posted in Authority, Communication, Parenting

by Tedd Tripp

Imagine that your young son has been influenced to participate in some act of vandalism or disrespect toward others. You could have a conversation like this.

“You know that what you have done is wrong, don’t you?”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“We will have to talk about what you have done and how you can make restitution, but I want you to think about this first. There are two kinds of people in the world. Do you remember who they are?”
“The wise man and the fool.”
“You’re right; I knew you’d get it. How does the wise man get so wise?”
“The fear of the Lord?”
“You’re right, the fear of the Lord. Why is the foolish man so foolish?”
“Because he says in his heart, there is no God.”
“Which one do you think showed in your choice today? Why does making a poor choice show that you ‘forgot’ about God?”

I want him to connect the dots, drawing the connection between his words and actions and the warning of Scripture. Perhaps you find that your children are watching a TV program where people are bawdy, coarse, and obscene. Use Scripture (for example Ephesians 5) to help them discern between the foolish person and the wise person who has nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness but rather reproves them.

We have contrasted wisdom and foolishness. Teach this contrast to your children again and again throughout their formative years. When your children need correction and discipline, the contrast between the wise man and the fool will resonate with them because you have given wise instruction.

From Instructing a Child’s Heart, Chapter 9

Instructing a Child's Heart


Jay Younts
Jay Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is the author of Everyday Talk and other materials on parenting. He has been teaching and speaking on parenting issues for 30 years. Jay and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. He serves as a ruling elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and Ruth have five adult children.