Biblical wisdom isn’t knowing how to make half a dozen young children stand in a straight line, and sit in their chairs quietly while you get your hair cut. Wisdom isn’t the same thing as good advice from a godly friend. Biblical wisdom comes from God’s Word. In fact, Jesus reminds us that a wise mother is one who hears His Word and obeys it (Matthew 7:24-27).
I’m hoping to teach my children to value wisdom. For a description of the wisdom project, click here first.
One of the surprises of the wisdom project I’ve been doing is how much my older children (ages five and three) actually interact with me, instead of just me talking the whole time. This has been exciting.
Here are the questions they’ve asked me:
- Is wisdom when you are nice to people? Here David is trying to figure out what wisdom actually is. I smiled, because I remember wrestling with defining wisdom as a child, too. I said yes, because God tells us to be kind to others, and Jesus said wisdom is when we hear God’s Word and obey it.
- Will wisdom help people understand? This was one of the first times I’ve heard David ask a spontaneous question specifically related to something I’ve read in the Bible. He heard the word understanding as I read.
I suspect he was thinking about understanding wisdom, but maybe that’s just wistful thinking.
- Does wisdom make people go to church? This is an interesting question, because wise people want to learn (Proverbs 1:5), and they clearly understood and remembered this characteristic. My response was Some people go to church because they want to learn. They are wise. Some people go to church because they want other people to think they are wise, not because they want to learn.
- Is a fool someone who does not obey God? Again, David is trying to develop a definition. I told him that a fool is someone who does not even want to obey God.
One of the characteristics they caught on their own was that wisdom causes people not to be afraid (see Proverbs 3:24). Since children are often fearful at night, they easily recognized what a treasure wisdom is. Bethel observed that she is afraid of the dark when Daddy closes the door. I told her that wisdom will help her to trust that God will take care of her in the dark. Bethel isn’t grasping enough while I read to get the characteristics on her own, but when I plainly tell her, she understands and is eager to contribute. I wrote her comment down, too, even though it wasn’t a question.
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.
And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”