Wisdom is an acquired taste

Posted on March 20, 2014 · Posted in Wisdom

The love of wisdom is not natural. Wisdom is something that you and your children must learn to love. Without wisdom life will not go well, you will live life like the fool, as one who doesn’t know God. Paul calls living this way futility.  This is not the life you want for your children. 

But remember, wisdom is an acquired taste. If you desire wisdom for your children, you must acquire a love for wisdom for yourself. 

The beginning of Proverbs two describes the consuming passion necessary to acquire wisdom and the knowledge of God. There is a great sense of urgency in the first five verses of this chapter:

My son, if you accept my words

and store up my commands within you,

2 turning your ear to wisdom

and applying your heart to understanding—

3 indeed, if you call out for insight

and cry aloud for understanding,

4 and if you look for it as for silver

and search for it as for hidden treasure,

5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD

and find the knowledge of God.

Note the passion for wisdom and understanding in these phrases in the first four verses: “turning your ear,” “applying your heart,” “crying out for insight,” “looking for wisdom like you would for hidden treasure.” 

This is the urgency needed to acquire a love for wisdom. Verse five confirms this:

then you will understand the fear of the LORD

and find the knowledge of God.

If you want your children to know the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God, then you must first be driven to find these things for yourself.  Does this portion of Proverbs describe your search for wisdom?

The search for treasure, the acquired love of wisdom, will be a failure if you are passive.  The search takes courage, dedication, and turning aside from other pursuits. You must be consumed by it, because nothing else on earth compares with the value of wisdom. Someone observing your search might even say that you are obsessed with finding the knowledge of God. This is not a bad thing. 

You children know what is important to you. If you can quote sports stats or stock market trends or detailed plans related to work, but can’t find anything in the Bible that relates to daily life, your kids will know what really matters to you.  

True wisdom will always point to Christ, and there is nothing of greater value on the earth.  How serious are you about acquiring the taste for wisdom?


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.