At a recent Annual Parent Meeting, Trinitas father and board member, Pastor Jon Mark Olesky, reminded us of the timely importance of Christian parents educating their children to engage their world. This is the third of three posts containing his comments.
The teaching needed is what is most often called, “wisdom” (Hb. khokmah). Many compromises will occur in Babylon without this wisdom. In the covenantal framework of Proverbs wisdom means skill in godly living. Proverbs, that often-neglected parenting book, the “father” repeatedly call his “son” to “find wisdom” (Prov 3:13), that is because children aren’t born possessing it, rather, “folly is bound up in the heart of a child” (and yes, “the rod of discipline” is needed to remove it!) (Prov 22:15). No, a foolish teenager doesn’t just “grow out of it,” wisdom must be given and received. Our children’s lives depend on it! “The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death” (Prov 13:14). It’s the way a young man avoids “the forbidden woman” (Prov 5 and 7), and that is because “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov 9:10).
These youth had wisdom when entering Babylon (Dan 1:4), therefore they were able to acquire more, “He gives wisdom to the wise” (Dan 2:21). A wisdom that humbly admits “…not because of any wisdom that I have” (Dan 2:30), is true wisdom. What greater aim to have as parents than to give wisdom to our children, especially when we realize, Christ is the wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:24,30) –the “manifold wisdom of God… made known… through the church” (Eph 3:10). What higher calling can we have as parents than to prepare exiles for Babylon (1 Pet 5:13)?
Parenting isn’t about us, or our children, it’s about God’s glory. In God’s wisdom, he used four Jewish exiles to make an international missionary of Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar, who declared “to all people and nations” that “His [God’s] Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom” even personally professing to Babylon, “I blessed the Most High and praised and honored him who lives forever” (Dan 4:34). God used a few God-fearing exiles from Judah to make known to the Persian King, Darius, His glory, so that “King Darius wrote to all the peoples, and nations, and languages… I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever” (Dan 6:25-26). We should not underestimate what God will do with wise children equipped in a covenant context. And we should not fear bringing them into the world, God’s aim and desire are to use them to get glory for Himself in Babylon.
Read Part I here.
Read Part II here.