A Review of Raising Wise Children by Mark Matlock

An essential trait that is lacking in our families and churches today is something we rarely discuss but the Bible highly values – wisdom. In Raising Wise Children: Handing Down the Story of Wisdom, Mark Matlock once again brings wisdom to bear on our parenting conversations. In order to see wisdom successfully transferred to the next generation, “parents need to raise their kids in an environment where wisdom is valued, taught, and modeled every day.” Matlock doesn’t just present the challenge, but he provides one of the most practical guides on applying and practicing biblical wisdom that you can find today.

Drawing from his wisdom-saturated study and experiences, Matlock gives a clear picture of what wisdom is and how to align our lives to God’s perspective. In order to begin this process, we have to admit that we all start out as fools as well as understand that “we need to walk the path we’re calling our children to follow.” As we do this, we begin to intentionally mediate wisdom for our children in a way that will equip them to make better choices when we’re not involved in their lives. Matlock contrasts the marks of a fool with the seven marks of a wise person he sees in Scripture. From the wise marks, he also pinpoints three areas for us to focus on in our parenting – insights, values, and practices. Here we have handles upon which to grasp to move forward in our personal growth in wisdom as well as passing it on to our children.

At the end of each chapter, Raising Wise Children provides ways to ready-to-use ideas to practice walking in wisdom. Matlock also uses the last half of the book to encourage and guide parents into a perspective of relaying wisdom that can last well beyond their day-to-day influence in the lives of their children. It is a process that requires sacrifice of self will and the decision to merely observe. Rather, we are called to engage our children and walk with them through decision-making using some clear goals for good decisions. Matlock insightfully points out that wisdom goes beyond the decision-making of the present to a thoughtful reflection on the past and projection into the future. Along the way, parents are also called to be actively seeking other voices, mentors, and models that will be reinforcing the high value we place on biblical wisdom.

If you were able to purchase only one book on parenting this year, you need look no further. Raising Wise Children is not only desperately needed but it is also going to be a tool that you can use to begin passing wisdom now as well as come back to in the days ahead.

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