Monday, October 22, 2012

How to Raise Smart Kids

I have been hesitant to write this blog because people could easily misunderstand me.  In order to write something with the title “How to Raise Smart Kids,” I  
1) claim to have smart kids
2) have the audacity to tell other parents how to produce intelligent children

But that’s exactly what I am doing, writing, and proposing.  You can put your Baby Einstein videos away.  You can stop worrying about the best academic program to put your potential child prodigy in.  This blog is the last thing you will ever have to read for your future valedictorian, engineer, businessman/woman, lawyer, doctor, teacher, advocator, or minister.

I’m not going to tell you how to make your kid the smartest.  We seem to have an obsession in our culture with being the best.  This information is not to teach you how to make your kids better than mine, because of course, that would undercut the very thing I am trying to do with my own kids. I am going to pass on what the Bible says about raising intelligent and capable future leaders.  James 3:13-16 says:

“Who is wise and intelligent among you?  By his good conduct let him show his good works in the meekness of wisdom.  But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.  This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.  For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.”

How do you raise smart kids?  The question for most Christians parents I know is not “how do we make our kids even smarter?” The question we need to be asking ourselves is “how do we make our kids better servers?”  Most of the people I know have some smarties in their family. We’ve got to teach our kids not to use their God-given capacities for selfish ambition.  Our kids can compete.  They should maximize their skills.  They should grow in all areas of their lives like Jesus did. (Luke 2:52)  But they should do so to further open opportunities to serve others and bring glory to God—not themselves.  Their intelligence should not only be displayed by their test scores, but by their good behavior, which proves they love God and other people.  Their actions should be carried out in meekness (strength under control).  And if a peer beats them out in a race or competition, we need to teach our children how to be happy for others’ success.  Because jealousy is demonic.  Jealousy threatens the unity of believers.  Jealousy keeps us from “weeping with those who weep” and “rejoicing with those rejoice.”  Jealousy is what Lucifer felt when he got himself kicked out of heaven.  In short, jealousy is stupid.

Christians, let’s not raise stupid kids.  The smartest, most intelligent people use their brain power to gain wisdom and produce good works that benefit the world, not just themselves.

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