What is true and right?
The third essential leadership characteristic for boys is wisdom. According to Dictionary.com, “wisdom is knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action.” How do we teach our boys wisdom when their immediate concerns are about friends, sports, girls, or the latest, hottest car?
Wisdom is often caught, not taught. Human knowledge, facts and history, can be taught. Taking action in specific situations, or a variety of them, can be taught or trained. But wisdom entails applying knowledge rightly in new situations and comes from experience in making proper judgments and taking correct actions.
How can any one person or parent have all the knowledge and understanding and pass that information on to their child? How do we know what is true and right?
Oswald Sanders states that wisdom “involves the knowledge of God and of the intricacies of the human heart… it is the right application of knowledge in moral and spiritual matters…”
To develop wisdom in your son, start with the right basis for moral and spiritual judgment—connect them to God through Jesus and the Bible.
As I wrote in the last newsletter, your son will imitate what you do when you aren’t around. If you use God’s wisdom as revealed in the Bible to make your decisions, then your son will imitate your actions.
Wisdom v.s. Decision.
We will discuss decisions next week, the application of wisdom. But know this first of all, if your son lacks wisdom, then his decisions will not always be for the best.
To input wisdom in the heart and mind of your son, time is an essential investment. You might say, “That’s what you wrote last week. How much time is this going to take?” At first, the process may seem to take a little more time than you would like. You may have to give up a few hours of watching football, an evening visiting with friends, or a day relaxing on the beach; however, as your son matures in this area, he (and everyone around him) will feel the benefits. The time required of you will decrease and his relationship with Christ will grow.
How Much Does God Know?
Seems like a silly question, right? Of course, He knows everything. But, I’m positive that you might decide to use the world’s wisdom instead of God’s to make decisions now and then. We do this for many reasons, but in the end, God’s wisdom is always better than man’s. Help your son to seek answers to his questions by talking with God, reading in the Bible or from Christian resources. Teach him how to do this quickly and easily. When the answers are at his fingertips, he’ll be more likely to use those resources to make a better decision.
What’s the Plan?
Step 1 – I recommend using a study Bible with language closest to the Greek meanings (NASB, NIV). A study Bible has references in the back or in the Bible text that helps you or your son find answers quickly. Buy your son a study Bible (paper or electronic) and go through a few practice sessions once a week checking out a question or two in the Bible (e.g. What’s the right way to deal with anger? (Have him look up anger in the reference section and read several verses.)). Discuss how he or you would use that information in a real life situation. Then ask him to teach you what the Bible says on how to handle certain situations. That will be most entertaining!
Step 2 – Online Relevant Content. Use Focus on the Family’s website as a starter for challenging issues. http://www.focusonthefamily.com/lifechallenges.aspx. Study the website first and determine whether you should read the information first or if it’s time for them to read it. Search online for areas where you might have questions and teach them to do the same, reminding them that they must check the source (ensure you trust it first).
Step 3 – Continue to use the TRLA system I discussed in last month’s newsletter. Talk, Read, Listen, and Analyze. Don’t forget, even a short fifteen to twenty minutes of reading a book together as a family will increase the level of reading of your son and help make the entire world’s bank of wisdom accessible to him.
Share Your Views
How can I help my boy to make the best decisions? Check it out.