My son, do not lose sight of these— keep sound wisdom and discretion, Proverbs 3:21
Over and over again the scriptures point towards wisdom. God asks Solomon what he wants. Solomon asks for wisdom, because he knew he was in big trouble without it, and God grants it – and everything else.
If it is one thing I think we’ve forgotten how to
teach share, it is wisdom. This is true both in the secular world and in the church.
This lack of wisdom is seen everywhere in our culture. It’s in our government, our marketplace, our entertainment, our sports, our schools and universities. It is for sure seen in how we think about relationships, marriage, singleness and the idea of love.
Our wisdom has turned into head knowledge and our discretion . . . well that is just completely out the window at this point.
The problem is you can’t get to wisdom with soundbites, youtube videos, tweets, and hash tags. WIsdom takes time and is proved right by it’s actions.
Now this lack of wisdom is seen when it comes to the church and singleness in so many ways it’s hard to even know where to start. We look around and see the sexual immorality and all that goes with it and we just want it to stop. The church is constantly reacting to it. But the problem is that rather than change a culture, we mostly offer rules, pledges and platitudes. We look more interested in morality than helping people live to the full. And you know what it’s not working. At all. We’re not even close.
Why? Because the problem is WAY bigger than we are willing to see and we refuse to rethink the whole thing from the ground up.
We need to push the restart button on the whole thing, starting with what we teach our kids. And I say this having taught adolescents for the last twenty years. As I look back over that, I’d say that I taught them a lot of truth, but I’m not sure if I did a very good job of helping them be wise. I have more to say about this later and I want to think about how we should teach our kids about marriage, celibacy, and all that goes with it. I’m honestly not ready to write that yet. I want to seek a little more wisdom first . . .
What started me thinking about this whole idea oddly enough was the song by the Doobie Brothers called “What A Fool Believes.”
It’s a song about a guy who meets up with a former flame. Now it isn’t clear whether they were former dating partners or a crush or something else. What is clear in the song is that the man has had a flame for this woman in his head the whole time, while the woman never carried the flame at all. In his head he has/had something with her – but only in his head.
When I think of the Christian single men I’ve known over the years (including me) I can’t count the times I’ve seen this sort of thing.
Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered. Proverbs 28:26
Here’s what I think. I think that in most churches, when it comes to what we teach men about women, we teach them to be fools. Not on purpose mind you, but as an unintended consequence – albeit a gigantic one.
Now maybe we don’t teach women to be wise either. But we sort of do. We teach them that they are the sheep and the guys are the wolves. We tell them to be careful, to choose wisely. We tell them, watch out for his patterns and if he has a sexual past. He’ll want that from you after all. Heck we even encourage them to dress wisely. Don’t put yourself in a bad position we say. Yes I get that it’s not perfect. But I’m willing to bet that most Christian women can tell you what to look out for, that they need to guard their emotions and what is attractive to men and what isn’t. I know because in the past I’ve taught all of this.
But our men? Not so much.
We teach them to be nice. We are taught to pursue/chase but not who to pursue or how. We are taught to keep our pants zipped but nothing about what to do. I’m willing to bet that most Christian men can’t tell you what to look out for, how to protect themselves, how to approach a woman and almost none of them can tell you how female attraction works. Basically we don’t teach our men anything about women that will actually help them get married. Then we sit around and complain that Christian men don’t know what they are doing. Exactly.
We are taught to be nice, but not to be wise. The ironic part of that is, wisdom in a guy is extremely attractive because wisdom breeds confidence and crushes insecurity.
A wise man does not chase the girl. A wise man is not desperate. A wise man knows who he is and doesn’t have to pose as a nice guy. A wise man knows how to talk to a woman and which ones to talk to. A wise man knows when a woman is attracted to him and when she isn’t and knows how to handle both.
A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might – Proverbs 24:5
Have you been taught to be wise or nice? What are you teaching others?