We all want our kids to be wise. We train them, talk to them, model for them, do everything we can to instill Godly wisdom and practical intelligence in their minds. We hope and trust in the scripture we have quoted numerous times throughout our trails and tribulations of parenthood:
“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6
The question still remains…how do you GUARANTEE that your child will walk in the way they should go? How do you GUARANTEE that all of the principles, lessons, and wisdom you have poured into them will actually stick with them when they launch out into the world?
The truth: there is no guarantee. Your kids were born with the same FREE WILL that Adam and Eve had. Although we can’t guarantee that our child will grow to bat .1000 in their decision-making, there are scriptural principles and skills we can develop in them to help them become wise.
This is the final installment of the four-part series I taught to the parents in my church, “How To Talk To Your Kids About ____________.” I have included the outline and the full audio of the teaching below. Feel free to use them to help the parents of your church raise children who make wise and Godly decisions.
“How To Talk To Your Kids About Making Wise Decisions”
1) Ask God for help. James 1:5
2) Establish clear boundaries.
3) Explain the “why.”
4) Practice what you preach.
5) Connect their decisions to God’s Word. 2 Timothy 3:16
6) Walk your child through the decision making process
Questions to ask when walking through the decision making process:
- Does the Bible specifically prohibit or command it?
- How will this choice affect me or my family?
- Can this become habit-forming or give anything mastery over my body, mind, or spirit?
- Does this choice draw attention to me or bring glory to God?
- Will making this choice cause anyone else to “stumble?”
- Does my conscience tell me that God will be pleased with this choice? Am I confident God would encourage me to make this choice?
- Will this choice cause me to lose the respect of those I care about?
- Is this choice being made so I can get as close as I can to sinning without technically sinning?
- Will this choice make sharing my faith more difficult?
- What does my pastor and/or spiritual leaders suggest?
7) As your child grows, allow them to make more decisions for themselves.
8) Don’t shield your child from consequences.
9) Reconnect and evaluate the decision with your child.
Questions to ask when evaluating an unwise decision:
“What part did you play in this?”
“What are you going to do differently next time?”
“What did you learn from this?”
10) Pick them up, dust them off, and let them make another decision.