THERE IS A VAST FOLLY WHERE KIDS WON’T BE TOLD—for them and all those connected with them; especially when they become adults. On the contrary, those children who are reachable and responsive, especially around authority figures, will be blessed with a basic enough wisdom to have an effective life in adulthood.
And so we enter analysis to some extent on the continuum of pride and humility.
At the former end we had a child who wouldn’t be told—they argued and resisted, even in the face of good fact—and at the latter end we had another child who actively sought sense.
You might even be pigeon-holing your children right now.
It’s easy to make predictions that (give or take) work out reasonably precisely. The kid who resists and argues, always knowing better, will end up suffering for their foolishness; their growth—emotionally and spiritually, and perhaps even mentally—is stunted and they will fail to grow and thrive. They will not see truth. They are governed by pride—and hence foolishness is both their method and goal. This is a great pity. This person, most certainly, goes against the will of God.
The kid who is “sensible” and reasonable—the one we can talk logically with, reasoning with them—is teachable. They learn because they don’t come from a standpoint that knows it all. Indeed, they’re constantly humbled by the self-knowledge that they know so little.
It is a wisdom paradox that the wise have such a grasp on the level of knowledge they don’t know. And they accept this, because the world they see is a vast place. No one could possibly know so much, least of all the know-it-all.
Guiding our children in the wisdom-mode of Proverbial training (see Proverbs 1–9) is the most important thing we could do—the biggest favour we do them, ourselves and the world they’ll interact with as adults. In these nine chapters of the Bible is a method of child training handed down through the ages; its method of instruction, understanding and discipline based in righteousness, justice and fairness works when implemented. If we studied this text and implemented it, fitting it to our contemporary world, we could chuck out vast libraries of information on child-rearing.
Children grow to be adults; it is simple cause and effect. If the proud, arrogant and/or ignorant child is not corrected by their parents, it will be the world’s job—then again, even the world won’t be able to correct a runaway train most of the time.
Then it will fall to God—if that be his will.
As parents we should always pray that our children’s hearts are always not only mouldable, but breakable—it is a great blessing to be soft enough to be able to be heartbroken. This might not make sense at a worldly level. It is, however, a great spiritual truth.
Only then can God—through our circumstances—make his best out of our worst. This needs to be learned in childhood as much as possible.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.