Boy on Mountain
Boy on Mountain

Teaching Our Children to be Wise

People often ask why I wrote the book Wisdom: Life’s Great Treasure. In short, it is because of what I observe in my work. For many, life is complicated, it is not working, it does not make sense and they do not know what to do about it. I see people living with false ideas and assumptions about reality, and know it’s just a matter of time before their lives become a train wreck.

The bottom line is that modern people lack wisdom. They do not know that it exists. They are unaware of their need for it and/or they do not know where to find it.

The word “wisdom” comes from the Hebrew word chokmah that literally translates to have “skill or expertise in living.” This essential component of wisdom gives one the ability to see things as they really are and not merely as they appear. This ability is vital to the foundation of wisdom, because we continually develop ideas explaining how our lives work as we move through various seasons of life. These ideas govern our thinking, and show us what the world is like and how we are to live in it.

I am finding that people today do not seem to be aware that there is a pattern or fabric to all of reality. Life is governed by certain laws and principles that God has woven into our earthly existence and I identify many of these laws and principles and how they work in everyday life.

One of my primary reasons for writing this book however, is to provide a resource for parents to use in teaching their children to be wise. It is clear in the book of Proverbs that a parent’s primary responsibility is to instruct his or her children in the ways of wisdom.

Parents feel compelled to make sure their kids are well educated because knowledge will best equip them to succeed in the real world. However, it is crucial to see that it is not the quantity of your knowledge that matters most but the quality of your knowledge. This is wisdom. Every day in the news we see very talented, well-educated people make dreadful decisions that wreck their lives and families. The world is full of knowledgeable fools.

Of course parents also attempt to teach their children to be moral and good. Clearly, good moral choices are crucial to experience a high quality of life, but most of the choices and decisions we make in life are not moral. Most of our decisions involve using good judgement. Wisdom is much more than being moral and good. It is what gives our thinking true clarity.

Think of some of the decisions and issues our children are faced with today and will have to contend with in the future:

  1. The people with whom they choose to surround themselves.
  2. Understanding how to be a good friend.
  3. How they spend their time.
  4. Establishing their priorities.
  5. Making their college choice.
  6. Managing their finances.
  7. Their dating and marriage choice.
  8. Their career choice.

Wisdom provides insight into the true nature of reality – both physically and spiritually. It allows us to grow in competence as we respond to the realities of life. Wisdom is knowing how things truly work and then living in harmony with it.

This explains why wisdom is of such great value and why Solomon said “She is more precious than jewels and nothing you desire compares with her.” (Proverbs 3:15)

As a parent, I believe wisdom is the great treasure we should impart to our children, because they desperately need it.


Richard E. Simmons’ newest book Wisdom: Life’s Great Treasure makes a timeless graduation gift for the high school or college graduate in your life –son or daughter, niece or nephew, grandson or granddaughter. Also available on

“This book creates a map for readers of all ages that can be referred to again and again in their life’s journey.” – Kari Kampakis, blogger and author of Liked and 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know.


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