The foolishness inside your children is more dangerous to them than the temptation outside of them.  Only God’s grace has the power to rescue fools.

Paul D. Tripp

Last week‘s post examined how being lost displays itself in daily life.  This week, let’s examine the foolishness of man and how God’s grace has the power to rescue us.

For anyone who works with students, one of the most valuable insights is to constantly think back to what you were like at their age.  It’s funny how quickly we forget how foolish and immature we were when we were younger.  I find that often in life this helps give me perspective when I am walking through a situation with one of my students or my own children.  My initial reaction is to say, “what on earth were you thinking?” but once I ask what I would have done at that age, my reaction often turns to “I know exactly what you were thinking (or not thinking).”  Many of us were equally or more foolish when we were younger!

In the Bible we find the word fool used over a hundred times. The Book of Proverbs specifically highlights the foolishness of man. There is a stark contrast between wisdom (the fear of the Lord) and foolishness (saying there is no God). In Psalm 5, David explains foolishness.

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.

They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good.

God looks down from heaven on the children of man

To see if there are any who understand who seek after God.

They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt;

There is none who does good, not even one.

—Psalm 53:1-3

The heart of foolishness is to deny the reality of God.  The heart of wisdom is to not only acknowledge God, but to center all of life around Him. Tripp explains it as,

“The denial of God is living without a sense of need for His authority, wisdom, power and grace.  It’s about inserting myself in the center.  It’s about the propensity of our children to make their happiness the most important thing in the universe.  It’s denying God’s right to rule and the wisdom of His rules.”

One of the most important questions I have been asked as a parent is, “Am I more concerned with my children’s happiness or their holiness?”  Take a moment to stop and reread that question and to consider the implications.  I find in my life that there are few things that I want more than for my children to be happy.  However, when I read Scripture I find that God often works through trials and sufferings to draw His people to Himself.  In fact the author of Hebrews specifically says that suffering in this life is a way that God deals with us as His children.

“Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons.  For what son is there that a father does not discipline?  But if you are without discipline—which all receive—then you are illegitimate children and not sons.”—Hebrews 12:7-8


The greatest gift we can give our children is not a safe and secure life without challenges, rather it’s to learn how to see the trials in life as a way to lean even further into their relationships with God.  We must be committed to training them to walk in the fear of the Lord.  Fear of God means a reverence and recognition of Him in all areas of our lives. We must understand that at its core, foolishness is viewing the world as if everything revolves around our wants, our desires and ultimately ourselves.  In essence it is putting us in the place of God.  Walking in the fear of the Lord is humbling ourselves before Him and walking in dependence on Him each day.  In a world that has not only rebelled against God, but denies His very existence, our children need parents who are willing to not only tell them about our God but also to show them what it looks like to live lives of faith and obedience. 

May we truly model what it looks like to walk in biblical wisdom each day.  By the grace of God, may we use each “foolish” decision our children make as an opportunity to point them back to true “wisdom” found in humility before God.  

Hilton Head Christian Academy‘s Life+ blog was created to equip today’s Christian parents with practical tools, thought provoking content, and honest conversation.

This fall, we look forward to parenting alongside all of you through a new series based on a life-giving book by Pastor Paul Tripp: Parenting: 14 Gospel principles that can radically change your family.

Each week we will unpack them chapter by chapter right here on the Life+ blog. We hope you’ll grab a copy and dive in with us, taking time to discuss each principle with your own family and the people God has placed in your life.

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