By Joey and Carla Link
November 11, 2020
I recently saw a boy riding his bicycle down the middle line of a road because he thought no cars were coming. There was no mirror on his bike and he had his earbuds in so he didn’t hear or see the police car coming up behind him. You may be thinking this boy’s brain wasn’t operating on all cylinders, and we would agree with that opinion, but how is this different from your kid when you tell him to do something and he keeps doing what he wants to do, not thinking or caring about the consequences? When you have to make a decision, whether you are young or old, you are using your judgement. Kids will face these dilemmas when faced with everyday issues: “Should I invite my sister to play with me when she asks if she can or turn my back to her and keep on playing by myself?” “Should I clean my room when Mom tells me to or just shove stuff in the closet hoping Mom won’t check there?” And the list goes on. These issues may not seem like big deals to you but they are big deals to your kids. For kids/teens, using their judgement wisely starts at a young age.
- Will your kids choose to do what you say?
- Will they choose to remember to pick up their toys after playing with them?
- Will they choose to play nicely?
- Will they choose right friends?
- When their eyes see something they shouldn’t be looking at, will they choose to look away?
Many parents will discipline, lecture or remind their kids for their disobedience, but they really need to be teaching them to use good judgement that comes from the teaching and training of God’s Word. This happens when parents hold kids responsible for what the parents have already taught them. You do this by insisting your kids tell you WHY they didn’t do what they were supposed to do in the first place. Before kids are allowed to ride their bike on a street, their parents will teach them which side of the street to ride on, and where the imaginary bike lane is. A wise parent will also take their child for several bike rides showing him/her how to ride on the busy street before they let them ride anywhere alone. When the police follow your son home to tell you he was riding his bike down the middle line of a busy street, it isn’t that he didn’t know the right way to ride his bike, but that he chose to do it his own way. It was a judgement call on his part to see if he could get away with it or not. WHY didn’t he use his wisdom and sound judgement? Many parents let their kids get away with the response of “I don’t know”. Please don’t do this, because we can assure you, they do know! The wise father Solomon wrote this to his sons: “My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve (like canning fruit, put away for future use) sound judgmentand discretion.” (Proverbs 3:21) Dad: Did you use sound judgement when you were riding your bike in the street?Son: No!Dad: Then why did you do it? (Dad is thinking his son was just messing around while riding his bike so he will consider taking away the freedom of his bike for a month.)Son: I don’t know. (He didn’t want to confess to messing around while riding his bike)Dad: Until you can answer that question, you have lost the freedom of riding your bike. And you have lost the freedom of using your earbuds until you are ready to talk about the proper use of them. Dad’s goal here should not be to just punish his son, but that the consequences should give him wisdom. As Solomon said, “Do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight…” What this boy did was let his dad’s wisdom and teaching go in one ear and out the other. When he was thinking about weaving all over the road, discernment should have yelled into his ear, “Dad said…” and his judgement monitor should have kicked in and stopped him. Don’t think about punishing your kids, think about training your kids to right thinking and Godly character. Solomon gives 10 reasons in Proverbs 3:22-26 for giving your kids “wisdom and understanding and preserve good judgment and discretion;”
“They will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble.When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.”