Generation Cedar

The Secret to Your Child's Success

Every parent wants to raise “The Secret to Your Child’s Success.”  The irony is that as important as success is to parents, very few of them know how to help their children achieve it.  Not only that, they are confused about actual success and are only aiming for the end results, missing the means to attain it.

Most people describe success as:

  • Good education
  • Good grades
  • Good job
  • Nice house
  • Plenty of money
  • Good health
  • Happy marriage

That’s just to name a few.  It’s a good list.  Who wouldn’t want these things for his child?  But these things are only some results of success. They are not in and of themselves the success.

Interestingly, the Bible spells out the secret to success and most parents completely miss it! The secret lies in Proverbs 3.

That passage contains the secret that promises:

  • long life
  • peace
  • favour with God and man
  • good health
  • abundance of food
  • happiness
  • honour
  • safety
  • fearlessness
  • friendships

Now THAT’S a list that describes success!  Those are qualities that would most likely ensure the things on the first list.  This is what our aim should be if we wish success for our children.  (These are biblical principles and not guarantees, but biblical principles ultimately produce good results.)

And the secret?


That’s it.

Let’s be honest:   we haven’t made wisdom “the principle thing” in bringing up children. We have instead become worshipers of education, thinking that will lead to their success.   Yet the Bible doesn’t mention education in the sense that we pursue.  It only emphasizes the deep passion for pursuing the wisdom of God. That, Scripture says, is the basis for life and I submit the foundation for all other education.

I am not advocating the rejection of all pursuits of knowledge besides Scripture.  I am saying that all else is secondary and will be enhanced by the pursuit of wisdom.

Your Child's Success

One resource we use to teach the Proverbs is this devotional.

Think about the energy and effort we put into providing our children with a good education. Yet, do we measure its merit by Scripture?  Do we apply the literal principles found in Scripture to our decisions about how they are educated?  If not, then we, are not pursuing wisdom, but rather avoiding what is written there for our guidance.

In short, we often don’t believe in God, following what the culture around us demands will lead us to success instead. (I think of a common cliche as an example:  “Your children need to be in worldly situations regularly to learn how to deal with them.” But a careful study of God’s Word reveals just the opposite.  Who are we getting our cues from?)

If we believed that the pursuit of wisdom was as important as the Bible says it is, and that became our aim for our children, how would our parenting look? How would their education look? How would their activities look?

If wisdom was our PRINCIPAL THING, what would we do to make sure our children GOT IT?

“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.  For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.”

Child's Success
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27 Responses

  1. This is such an encouragement to me as a wife. My husband and I have no children yet … but this post made me realize that we need to focus on wisdom ourselves! 🙂 Thank you for such an inspiring and convicting post.


  2. YES!

    I have been lately really delving into these passages in Proverbs and aligning our home education goals with these truths. In Proverbs 1, I was investigating the meaning of the word BEGINNING there–as in the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. To find that its meaning is…the chief or principal thing–that REALLY struck me! All the educational goals ARE important, as you were affirming, but in order for them to truly be useful and worthwhile for our children, we must have the first thing FIRST and pursue that in earnest. The other knowledge will not be worth anything without the fear of the Lord–REVERENCE–recognizing Him as our authority, obeying Him, worshiping Him. The other pieces fall into place and find their meaning in that alone. This has eternal value, not only value in this life.

    It’s amazing to me how I could have read these passages over and over through the years, yet the Holy Spirit continues to teach more and more from it. I have been thinking a great deal lately on how many will say that you must just let your children make mistakes, because they MUST learn from experience. Now, I’ll agree you can train them up, and then must trust them to the Lord’s hands as they make decisions approaching adulthood, however, according to Proverbs, even YOUTH can gain knowledge and discernment. If they will receive instruction from His Word, they don’t have to learn everything “the hard way” rather, they can have knowledge and discernemnt even as a youth! That was such an encouragement to me! (Sorry, for being slightly off-topic here–feel free to shorten my post, if you feel it focuses the discussion better. It was all a part of what I’ve been studying in Proverbs, so my mind made the connection, but I wouldn’t want to derail the topic. Just fairly bursting with “aha” moments here! God be praised!)

    Thanks for taking the time to post and keep me considering and studying His Word.


    1. I agree with you completely. There are so many today that have it truly ingrained in them that a child must go through a period of rebellion before entering into adulthood when he/she will finally settle down to embrace what they’ve been taught. I disagree, and one must only point to Timothy (who was, himself, only a youth) to prove that as a falsehood.

  3. Exactly! Our little ones deserve Biblical wisdom so that they may serve their Creator and Saviour in a way that pleases Him. Biblical wisdom that teaches them how to respond, in a Godly way, to the brutish world around them.

    My children’s early elementary years have been spent learning Biblical lessons. As parents, my husband and I, know the value of what we’ve learned over the last 20 odd years ( most of it together – 15 yrs. Sept 21 ( yes, you may congratulate us! 😉 )). My personal goal is that they, my children, learn these lessons early in life and so know more about how to please the Lord and live for Him at 18 than I did!

    To sort of quote Sylvia: Let’s keep planting those seeds ladies! Let’s pray and wait and see, the Spiritual Giants our Lord raises up in these precious children we have been blessed with.

    Unless, of course, He doesn’t tarry and then perhaps we will be blessed to hear that wonderful thing “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

    Beautiful, wonderful day to consider our salvation.

  4. Thank for posting these thoughts~~ This past Sabbath our family was reading in Genesis 5~6~7~8~~ It was so refreshing to see that Noah and his wife~ their sons and their sons wives went into the ark shutting out all the evils of the world~~ I pray that the Lord will give me the wisdom to teach our little men His ways~~
    Many Blessings to you and yours~~

  5. Very true and perfectly put! Last year, my daughter had severe growing pains for about 9 months straight. She couldn’t walk well, I carried her most places. Her hands hurt so badly she could not hold a pencil, and she was in pain all day, really unable to focus. We HS, so I started to cry to God that she wasn’t learning anything, we’d be behind, blah, blah, blah… Then I heard clearly (inside my head) “But she loves me, and she does what I say when I say it.” I responded in a pitiful whine restating what I had already said as if He must not have heard me. 😉 He repeated what He said the 1st time. Once more I complained, and once more He responded the same. The last time I listened. If He thought the greatest knowledge she had was Him, then I had to trust that what she was learning in that extremely difficult time was far more important than what she would have learned in her scholastic studies. Her relation with Him deepened (as did mine) because He was the only one who could end the pain, or provide relief during necessary activities. And He did give grace through the pain, allowing her to do some things without pain. He was our only source, I am am grateful for the time, just not the pain….Be joyful in all things.

  6. Kelly,
    This is just beautiful, and so timely for so many of us, I’m sure! It’s amazing that as Christians we’ve been taught to define success by the things in the first list. We are determining to have the 2nd list be on the “goal” list for our children, at a much higher priority than anything else.

  7. What is success? Very hard list.

    This is a good list but again not given to all. Depends many times where you were born, your family circumstance etc.
    •Good education
    •Good grades
    •Good job
    •Nice house
    •Plenty of money
    •Good health
    •Happy marriage

    This list good list, again not given to all..
    •long life
    •favor with God and man
    •good health
    •abundance of food

    IMHO, You may not be born in a country with peace, you may not even be lucky enough to have food, health, your life maybe taken away at any time, but again what I have seen, the contentment and joy that comes from people with little and the happiness they feel, some may say naive because they know no better is something I’ve always envied. And something I always strive for though very often unsuccessfully.

    The thing I am most grateful for is the grace of knowing a Heavenly father, for however my life is here, I have an assurance I will spend it with Him. Which so many people do not have or know.

  8. It seems to me that it matters little where you come from. Yes, there are many blessings that are available to those born in this country. That is the benefit of a country founded upon Christianity & not a pagan god. It is a benefit that I have taken advantage of in being able to serve my Lord in the prescribed way of Scripture. Many have fought and died for it, our freedom wasn’t free then nor is it now. As a matter of fact, right now, I believe it’s in danger from forces within and without.

    The Lord’s blessings are available to anyone who confesses Him as their saviour and obeys His commands. That is the reason Paul could sing hymns and psalms while in prison, being beaten or shipwrecked. It is also the reason that people in Caesar’s household were saved. HIS blessings are available to us no matter where we are. It is the reason why so many could die at the stake while singing His praises.

    We ALL can have the peace that passes understanding. We ALL can chose to live with honor. We ALL as Christians will have a long life – we have eternity with our GOD. We ALL through Jesus Christ find favor with God because we are washed from our sins by Jesus’ blood. We ALL may drink from living water daily. Finally, there is absolutely no reason for us to feel alone because we have THE FRIEND who sticks closer than a brother & who will never leave nor forsake us.

    We were never promised an easy, rose-filled life. In fact, as believer’s we were promised the exact opposite. “Blessed are you when you are reviled for my name”, Jesus said. We will be persecuted and reviled for our faith – by the world, co-workers, family …… you name it. But those blessings are available to us all.

    It is wonderful to have the assurance of our salvation. It is a blessing to experience the gifts and TLC of our Lord, is it not? But we must also be consistent in spreading the gospel – working in our place of ministry, right Kelly? Our salvation — paid for by Jesus Christ. Our job — obedience to our Lord & to give Him the glory.

    I just felt that needed to be said.

    1. Laura,

      Which ‘talk’ was that? We bought the mp3’s from the conference and have been listening to the ones we weren’t able to listen to live. I don’t think we’ve heard the one you’re referring to yet.


      1. Amy,

        It was the session entitled “Child-training: A Biblical Template” (I think!) and in my opinion, one of the very best (most certainly the most entertaining, though you won’t get the full effect just listening ;-)) of the conference.

        1. Thanks Kelly, I think we’ll give that one a listen today!

          BTW, have you seen the little video that VF did for the Tea w/ Michelle DVD that they’re putting together? I’m on for 1 whole second at second 53! lol…thought that was kind of cool!

  9. Well said, Kelly. Yes, wisdom must be the principal thing we pursue in education and all of life. I’ve always loved how II Peter 1:5-8 provides a list of priorities for our education:

    5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  10. this words are coming at the right time. so many people have distorted view of success, am glad am happy with your ides
    Abuja Nigeria

  11. Great Post! I love it. The things in the first list have been told to me since birth. I’ve come to realize that they are blessings from God. If we have them we should be thankful. We should also understand that they will never bring true fulfillment. So many of us have been raised with the belief that these things will bring satisfaction and peace. They never will. If you see them that way it will never be enough. If you see the first list as blessings, you can be content and thankful.

  12. I agree. We are half way through memorizing Proverbs 3. We add a verse each week, review it daily and use it for copywork. And the 3 year old does better than all of us.

  13. My 3 yr. old is awesome at memorizing, too Kathy. Thank you, Kelly for this article. It put into words the main reason we home school. My girl friend, also a Christian tried to make all those arguments about kids needing to have worldly confrontation to have strong character…Thank the Lord I didn’t listen to her. God bless all you ladies in your quest for raising lo’s in the Lord!

  14. Jesus Christ = Wisdom
    Give your kids Jesus EVERY DAY!
    Nothing else matters really.

    Don’t assume they know Him.
    If they don’t look like prodigals, they just might be pharisees!

  15. Loooooove Proverbs 3.
    Of course, all of God’s word is sweet. In Proverbs 3, concept after concept hits you, hopefully soaks into you. Wonderful food for thought, the whole chapter!

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