Proverbs 23:24

The father of a righteous person will rejoice greatly;
whoever fathers a wise child will have joy in him.

I have a dream. (I know, that’s not real creative. I wonder how many posts have been written with that starting line. Anyway…) I have a dream that when my kids are all grown up, they will be much wiser than I was at their age. When they’re 18, I’m hoping they’ll be as wise as 25 year olds. When they’re 25, I’m hoping they’ll be as wise as other 35 year olds. That would make me proud.

And if that happens, I will rejoice greatly. I will have great joy in my kids. I’m sure I will anyway, no matter the outcome. But I have high hopes for them.

But, the thing is, that doesn’t happen by accident. This isn’t a proverb of hopes and dreams. It’s not a prayer, that we memorize in the hope that our kids will turn out this way.

The word in the second verse brings great clarity. Whoever ‘fathers’ a wise child. With focus on the word, ‘fathers.’ As in the who does the responsibility of being a father. And yes I meant to use the word does. The one who fathers, the one who does this fathering, the one who fathers a wise child will have joy in him.

This is not something we hope for. This is a decision we make and then work toward. We decide on the vision and do the hard work of fathering towards it. We decide that we want our kids to be wise when they grow up, and then we do the work of fathering them in that direction.

Wise children (as in offspring, not age) don’t happen by accident. They happen on purpose. They happen because you’ve decided as a parent that you want your child to be wise. They happen because you’ve decided and started doing the work of raising them that way.