It has been said that our culture has ‘traded wisdom for knowledge, and knowledge for information.’ Just stop and think on that for a moment before reading on. ‘Wisdom’ is skillfulness in living, knowing how to live well; ‘knowledge’ is comprehension of concepts, that may or may not translate into action; but ‘information’ is merely facts that can be recited, data downloaded from the internet. Do you see the decline indicated? We have more information available to us now than ever before in human history, but how much wisdom is evident today? When it comes to parenting and raising children, this trade off could not be more manifest. We are reading more, but thinking less,…and living worse. How many TV shows spruik on about parenting, but how much better is the average family in our culture? It seems to me that some ancient wisdom may be more critical now than ever before.
Take the simple instructions in Proverbs concerning training children, and let’s just take the one word ‘rod’ for example. Prov. 13:24 ‘Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.’ [or ‘disciplines early/promptly’]. One commentary I consulted said this about the ‘rod’: ‘It is certainly to be understood literally, but not only literally. It can stand for any discipline that inflicts enough pain to discourage bad behaviour and encourage good.’ It must never be understood to permit physical abuse, or enraged outbursts. But lax parenting that fails to discipline is a virtual death sentence to our children. Hmm, that thought alone should be enough to cause a stir! Pastor Paul