Intelligence and wisdom…are seldom the same. Over my 78 years I have observed this to be the case. While intelligence might contribute to wisdom, they are most times poles apart. We can go to school which most of us do; we can read books, be taught by great teachers and even make excellent grades. We can advance beyond high school to college on to MBAs and PhDs. None of these gives us the ability to get in out of the rain in a storm, so to speak.
Like most of you, I drive a lot in the city of Dallas. I go through residential neighborhoods trying to avoid traffic. I am always surprised at how many young mothers are pushing their babies in the stroller with headphones on and their back to traffic on the street. Many joggers do the same thing. I would guess that the majority of them have either completed college or more. I would suggest that most of us learned at an early age that you walk facing traffic for obvious safety reasons. Intelligence versus wisdom! Or as I define it; uncommon sense. Wisdom is more than common sense. It’s the ability to discern reasonably based on the circumstances presented. Whether I made an A or an F on my math; that doesn’t give me the ability to protect myself on the street.
A father shared something recently. We were discussing having a date night with our children. This man has a college degree and runs a profitable homebuilding business. His only daughter is in grade school. He invited her to a date night, to go to dinner together. She said to him; dad, I really would love to, but would you leave your cell phone at home. He is more intelligent than she, but guess who showed wisdom in that circumstance? She knew that if he brought his phone, based on past circumstances, he would spend more time on it than with her. This daughter is going to make one fine wife and mother, and a really great grandmother.
Dads, are you just sending your children to school and forgetting the incredibly important role of teaching them uncommon sense or wisdom? What have you learned over the years through trial and error, being mentored by others and truths you have learned and applied from scripture? Are you passing this on or are you keeping it to yourself? Your kids can become intelligent without you. But they can’t gain uncommon sense or wisdom without you spending time with them.
Would you be happy with your children attaining high marks and degrees in the academic world and not be able to get off the porch, stay out of traffic or have the sense of a grade school child when it comes to relationships? For instance, do you just send your kids to camp, or do you go camping with them in order to expose them to a myriad of life lessons? What are their gifts and passions? Are you encouraging and teaching them in the areas of their interest?
Dads, I think scripture, especially in Proverbs, teaches us to develop wise children, and not just smart ones. It takes time and it requires effort. Are you willing to give both for the future of your children and grandchildren? They are counting on you!
“Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; for her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain then fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths our peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her” (Prov. 3.13-17).