We got a new puppy a couple of weeks ago. She is already eight-months-old, but she is very ill-trained. She was not given a name, nor was she taught simple commands, like No, Sit, Come, or Down. These are all basic, important commands to train a puppy in, because an out-of-control dog with bad habits is not a pleasure to own. This pup, in particular, is really in need of these basic training habits, because, she is about ninety pounds already. A giant puppy who does not know to stay down, come to you, or stop what she is doing when you tell her no is a danger to herself and others.
She has been allowed for her entire life to wander around, behaving as she saw fit, gaining habits that are not good for her or society. Though she was kept inside an electric fence, when she found a break in it, she went through it, because she did not understand it was there for her protection as well as to keep predators out. She is basically out of control, and this could very well lead to her demise.
This is the same way with our sons. The Word gives clear instruction on bad, foolish and sinful habits leading to our destruction, and it is imperative we train up our children in the right way to go, so that when they “find a breach in the fence”, they do not go through it, but, rather, follow in the ways Yehovah God has intended for them. They must know the Word and how to live in it, as it is for their protection and good, not to constrict them and take away their ‘fun’.
Part of this instruction includes training them out of foolish behaviours. I honestly never had this problem with our ‘first set’ of children – 3 girls. Foolishness was just not an issue. Actually, Eric, who is now 12, was never really foolish until recently. Perhaps that is what spurred his younger brothers to be so foolish. NOTE to self: Foolishness is contagious. It does not just stay with one child, but spreads to see who can be even more foolish!
I first noticed this foolishness and teasing in Isaac when he was about 4. It was ‘fun’ for him to tease his older sister, Hannah, who was 8 at the time. Then it was ‘fun’ to tease his Daddy. And his baby sister and brother. And NO ONE thought it was as fun as he did.
Daddy was not home to correct him much, and when he was, well, he didn’t realize that the foolish teasing had gone on for nearly the entire day, and he did not let Isaac know in a way he would remember that it was NOT ok to tease and torment others. So the teasing and foolishness, always being funny, grew.
The Bible speaks to foolishness in man. It is never a good thing, and much of the time, is related to sinfulness. Parents who use silliness and teasing to get a child to obey are setting their child up for responding in foolishness. Fools are what they are. When you read about fools in the Bible, you rarely think it is a God-honouring person. I always used to envision the fools as sinners. The instruction to those behaving as fools in the Bible are Yehovah God’s people. They are Believers. We must be sure to not train our children in foolishness and thereby dishonour our faith and our God.
22 You can crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle, along with the grain being crushed; yet his foolishness will not leave him.
“It is what comes out of a person,” he went on, “that makes him unclean. 21 For from within, out of a person’s heart, come forth wicked thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 greed, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, arrogance, foolishness… 23 All these wicked things come from within, and they make a person unclean.”
1 The proverbs of Shlomo: A wise son is a joy to his father, but a foolish son is a grief to his mother.
7 Wisdom is too lofty for a fool; he keeps his mouth shut at the city gate. 8 He who plans to do evil people call a schemer. 9 The evil plans of the foolish are sin, and people detest a scorner.
When a wise man argues with a foolish one, he meets anger and ridicule without relief.
Fortunately, our boy hasn’t grown too much. He is just 6 years old. Since we noticed it at an early age, we can get a handle on it now, before it becomes too much a part of him and is passed on to his little 4 year-old brother. The thing we want to avoid is for him to become a foolish man. After all, we are training future men, not little boys. the Word of Yehovah speaks much to foolish men and their folly.
Some traits of a foolish man:
They hate to work.
They love to play.
They are irresponsible.
These are disobedient.
They make everything a joke.
They make foolish decisions, because they do not take the time to make good ones.
They do not understand responsibility.
They love the things of the world more than the things of Yehovah.
They live off of their own ideas and plans, disregarding what Yehovah has for them.
They are self-centered.
They choose what is best for themselves above others.
They are destined to fall.
These are not the traits we want in our sons as adults, so we must understand them in the light of our sons’ ages. We must be diligent and train the foolishnes out of our sons so they do not grow up to be foolish men who dishonour their parents, their families and their Heavenly Father.
Unfortunately, foolishness in little boys seems harmless and is even called cute! It often consists of: teasing, pranks, silliness, etc. The term, “Boys will be boys” gives a clear picture of the behaviour we often attribute to foolish boys, and certainly exists to excuse behaviour parents don’t want to deal with. As these foolish little boys grow into foolish young adults, and the term “teenagers” is used the “Boys will be boys” attitude starts to morph into something a little more damaging. The sinful and unhealthy habits of carelessness, a wreckless attitude towards relationships and responsibilities, perhaps there is coarse language that has been developed, and perhaps an underlying attitude about the opposite sex that is unhealthy. At this point, ‘dealing with it’ is not really something that is in a parent’s control. The child is now supposed to behave like a man, yet, he is more of a child in almost every way. And the ‘man’ continues to age, following the path of folly, as he marries (or not), and enters society as a citizen and adult.
This is not the picture we have for our sweet little darling angels, is it? Yet, many of us do not even see behaviour that we are warned about over and over in the Word. Do we not know it? Do we not take the time to study it? Are we allowing society and our family or churches to determine what is best for our children? What is best for our children?
One thing I have taught my children is that you are who you are. You do not grow up one day and grow out of your sinful and foolish habits. They are you, and if they are sinful, they must be repented of and gotten rid of from their lives now, not later. Our world acts as if at the magical age of eighteen children become adults, take on responsibility, drop their selfish and foolish ways and are productive members of society. This is a myth. A lie. Responsible adults who are unselfish, thinking people and productive citizens are grown. They are not all of a sudden changed at a certain age.
The best way for our children to grow into the adults they are supposed to be is for us to know the Word on child training, to have a close, growing relationship with the Father daily, and to not allow society to dictate its worldliness into the hearts of our children. You know, each one of our children was created with a design and plan. They were created with certain bents and affinities that we must unlock and apply wisdom to.
Ask the one who knows. Ask the Creator. Expect him to answer you. With this expectation comes some responsibilities, though. We must know the WORD, and we must be willing to apply what he tells us. When he tells us, we know that is right, and James tells us to know to do right and to not do it, it is sin to us. We must ask, read, and apply. We must do this daily, diligently, and lovingly.
May the Father give you the knowledge and wisdom you need to grow your sons into who he has created them to be. May we keep a watchful eye for the sins in their lives as well as the ways they naturally go in the Father. May we be bold enough to walk the narrow path set before us in training them in Scripture and his ways when society, family, and friends tell us otherwise. Let us raise young men, and not grown-up foolish boys who will soon regret the lack of training from their parents.
Mrs. Jacque Dixon and her husband, Matt, train their eight children up in the LORD home schooling on their small homestead in Indiana. They are the founders of Gleaning the Harvest, presenting widows and fatherless to the Body of Christ. She is owner and publisher of Training Sons to Be Men, and Training Daughters, Teaching Wives, where she is a regular columnist. You can also read encouraging home school articles and more about the Dixon family at Walking Therein.
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All Scripture taken from the Complete Jewish Bible by David Stern