He who loves wisdom makes his father glad,
but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.
When I was twelve years old, I played Little League baseball. I was not a particularly good hitter, but there was this one at bat that I will always remember. It was the time that I hit my only home run right over the center field fence. My dad nearly fell off the bleachers. "That’s my boy!" I think my father was even more proud of me when I graduated from high school, college, and seminary. He dropped out of school after the 8th grade. There are many things like these that can make the heart of a father glad. And they are good things. For the Christian father, however, there is nothing that can make his heart gladder than to see his children grow up to become philosophers. Yes, philosophers! From the Greek philos (love) and sophia (wisdom)—lovers of wisdom. This proverb is an important reminder for fathers and sons and daughters. Dads: go ahead and root for your daughters and sons on the soccer field, enjoy whatever success they might have there. But do not lose sight of what really matters for your kids as they grow up: that they grow to love wisdom. Dads: it is natural for you to want your children to be safe and secure, to have financial stability in their adult years. It is understandable that you might want them to major in business rather than in art history in college. Who in the world can make a living at art history? You need to put your worry about their safety and security on the back burner. What matters is that they grow up to love wisdom.
And now a word to sons and daughters: the chief end of man is not to glorify oneself and enjoy oneself forever. It is not true that whoever dies with the most toys wins. Cyndi Lauper may be right: girls just want to have fun, but not princesses in the Kingdom. Sons and daughters: you must think and act in a manner that is radically counter-cultural. Part of that counter-cultural thinking is borne out in the community of which you choose to be a part. Do not buy into—literally—the value system that seeks happiness in making money just to spend money. Do not squander the wealth that God will give you through your work. To put it in the starker language of the King James, do not hang with the "harlots." Contrary to the "wisdom" of Billy Joel, it is better to cry with the saints than laugh with the sinners. Connect yourself with people who pull you up rather than with those who bring you down.
So what does it mean to love wisdom? Who is the true philosopher? To love wisdom is to love Wisdom. "…but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1 Corinthians 1:23). Christ himself is the wisdom of God. To love wisdom is to love Jesus.
Dads: desire this for your children above every wish that you might have for them—that they would grow in their love for Jesus, whether they be financially secure entrepreneurs or starving artists.
Young people: make your earthly fathers and your Heavenly Father glad. Reject the values of the world; eschew the company of the crowd that will bring you down; reject the materialism of your culture. Pursue wisdom. Pursue Jesus!
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By Dan Kunkle. © 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org