4 Ways to Teach Wisdom to Your Children
Wisdom can sometimes be thought of as being the same as knowledge. I read a definition of the difference between the two that really puts it in perspective. "Knowledge is really about facts and ideas that we acquire through study, research, investigation, observation, or experience. Wisdom is the ability to discern and judge which aspects of that knowledge are true, right, lasting, and applicable to your life".
So knowing the difference we can agree that children need to be taught wisdom. Depending on their age and stage in life, knowing the difference between the two can sometimes be difficult. In a devotion I recently read , it stated that wisdom comes through understanding and applying God's Word to life experience. In other words, wisdom guides them from unwise decision-making. And this wisdom is a gift that we can give our children. According to the devotional, there are four ways we can teach wisdom in an inviting and practical way.
1. Tell stories of individuals who made wise decisions and the positive effects that followed. Then contrast these uplifting illustrations with those who chose an unwise path and suffered harm as a result. Stories stir the heart and illuminate the mind. We owe it to our children to engage them in conversations about real-life people. Otherwise, they stay oblivious in a bubble of unrealistic living. Indeed, wisdom comes by allowing them to spread their wings and begin decision-making while they still live under your roof.
2. Start them out young by helping them make money decisions. Show them the pattern of "share, save, and spend" from your own financial management. Then lead them to do the same. Be an example of smart spending, and you may become a recipient of its fruit as your child learns to be a savvy shopper. Financial wisdom is a practical gift, whose principals you can use to train your child (Ephesians 6:4).
3. Good judgement in choosing friends is another facet of teaching your child the ways of wisdom. Make sure children understand the propensity to be like the people they "hang out with" (Proverbs 13:20). It's wise to choose friends whose faith is growing and robust. Go with friends who lift up, instead of those who pull down. It is unwise to flirt with friendships that dilute growth with God. Discuss why they need to avoid friendships that become a wedge between child and parent. Wisdom has a high standard for friendship. Challenge your children to pray for friends who complement their faith, who move them closer to their heavenly Father. Wise friends rub off on your children in wise ways.