The Wisdom of a Father

Text: Proverbs 1:1-9


I.         The rise of feminism brought about a demotion of fatherhood

            A.        In an attempt to prove the worth of woman, many felt the need to “prove” that men were worthless

                        1.         We see the impact in society.

                        2.         How many television shows show a well-meaning but bungling dad whom mom and the kids have to steer him way from dangers?

                        3.         How many women are not bothering getting married, though they have children anyway?

            B.        The Bible, unlike today’s society, sees men and women as being equally essential, while fulfilling separate roles - Galatians 3:28

            C.        One of the roles of a father is providing instruction to his children in the training and admonition of the Lord - Ephesians 6:4

                        1.         In other words, husbands and fathers are supposed to be a source of wisdom for the family

                        2.         Quite a tall order if you think about it.

II.        What is wisdom?

            A.        All Christians need wisdom - Ephesians 5:15-17

                        1.         We have little time and we live in a dangerous world

                        2.         We need wisdom to make the best use of our time here on earth

                        3.         That wisdom is found in the will of the Lord

            B.        The Bible is able to equip us - II Timothy 3:16-17

            C.        Thus, wisdom comes from God, along with knowledge and understanding - Proverbs 2:6-9

            D.        Proverbs 24:3-4 - Using a house to illustrate

                        1.         Knowledge is the comprehension of facts. It fills our minds with pleasant and useful things

                        2.         Understanding is the reasoning of relationships. Logic becomes the foundation on which we stand.

                        3.         Wisdom is the application of our learning. It is how we put it all together.

            E.        “Wisdom is insight into the underlying causes and significance or consequence of things, which insight enables one to apply to the best end the knowledge which he has.” [Homer Hailey]

            F.        In other words, knowledge tells you what is happening, understanding allows to you to predict what might result and what are your options, but it is wisdom that guides to select the best response.

III.       Where to get wisdom

            A.        Most often people gain some measure of wisdom through experience

                        1.         They try one thing or another. Some of it works, but a lot of it fails.

                        2.         We make note of it and try again the next time with, hopefully, better results

                        3.         Of course, all this is time consuming.

                                    a.         That is why we associate wisdom with older people - Proverbs 20:29

                        4.         It is also hit-and-miss. We don’t experience everything as we live, so we are often caught off guard when facing something new.

                        5.         And, of course, not everyone survives their mistakes!

            B.        You can learn wisdom from wise men - Proverbs 13:20

                        1.         Instead of personally making mistakes, you learn from others, thus you can avoid wasting years of repeating what others already knew

                        2.         It is best to listen so you can be wise when you get older - Proverbs 19:20

                        3.         By avoiding mistakes, you don’t have to carry the consequences with you through life.

                        4.         Here then is the responsibility of a father: to pass his accumulated wisdom down to his children

            C.        If you want wisdom, ask God - James 1:5

                        1.         It is what Solomon asked of God - I Kings 3:5-14

                        2.         It is what he received - I Kings 4:29-34

            D.        The book of Proverbs is the writing of Solomon to pass wisdom on to succeeding generations - Proverbs 1:1-3

                        1.         It is able give prudence to the simple - Proverbs 1:4

                                    a.         Children and some adults are uncomplicated in their thoughts

                                                (1)       They act on impulse with little consideration

                                                (2)       They are noted for rash decisions with unintended consequences because they didn’t even stop to think about the consequences.

                                    b.         Prudence is the opposite of rashness, and wisdom gives prudence.

                        2.         It is able to give knowledge and discretion to the young

                                    a.         Even without a long life, the book of Proverbs can supply a host of facts

                                    b.         And it gives plans (choices) for what to do in various situations

                        3.         Even man already wise can benefit by increasing what he knows - Proverbs 1:5-6

                                    a.         None of us know everything or experienced everything

                                    b.         Even a wise man benefits from learning better choices

                        4.         A man of understanding, a smart man who can put two and two together can also benefit

                                    a.         From the wise advice stored in the book

                                    b.         Understand subtle statements and puzzles in life

                        5.         Proverbs is a divinely inspired writing of God given through the hands of the wisest man on earth expressed in short sentences regarding life.

IV.      Though offered, wisdom is not always accepted

            A.        Fools despise wisdom and understanding - Proverbs 1:7

                        1.         Fools because they refuse to see the value in them

                        2.         Fools because they remain ignorant

                        3.         Fools because they have condemned themselves to making a lot of mistakes

            B.        Children have the opportunity to learn wisdom from their parents - Proverbs 1:8-9

                        1.         They will make you a better person

                        2.         Passed down from generation to generation - Proverbs 4:1-13

                        3.         They are protection - Proverbs 6:20-23

V.        Are you listening to your father?

            A.        Have you learned the lessons of life that your father has taught you?

            B.        If you are a father, are you prepared to pass them down to your children?

            C.        But you know, each of our fathers did the best that they could, but they made mistakes - Hebrews 12:9

                        1.         But we don’t have to repeat the mistakes, for we have a heavenly Father who has passed down His wisdom to us as well

                        2.         Learn from Him and pass it on to your children

            D.        Fathers are necessary.