Positive Action Blog

Youthful Naiveté

Frank Hamrick, Aug. 24, 2013

Proverbs 1:10

“My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.”

Solomon understood human nature. His warning reveals an understanding of two basic truths that endanger our children:

  1. Sin is enticing. Man is born with a sin nature and a natural bent to evil. All children are born this way. This fascination with sin endangers them.
  2. Youth are naïve. Fascination with sin is exacerbated by the naiveté of youth. When Solomon calls them simple in verse four, he’s not implying that they are dumb but that they do not have the experience to make wise judgments. Our children are not always rebellious. Sometimes they are just simple to the ways of the world.

This is a deadly combination. A four year old’s fascination with a snake, coupled with his childish innocence, can prove deadly. Solomon’s understanding of these two forces prompted him to write a ten-proverb warning. The verses that follow reveal how temptation works and what must be done to overcome it. A wise parent will teach the same principles to her children. What forces entice youth to sin?

  • The need to belong (“Come with us,” v. 11). Every child wants to feel accepted. The longing for belonging has led many into sin when their heart was not actually rebellious. Naiveté caused their downfall.
  • The desire to possess (“We shall find all precious substance,” v. 13). All men want. The danger is when we are controlled by our wants. It is not money that destroys a man, but the love of it. Warn your children of this temptation and model right priorities before them!
  • The failure to foresee. (“They lay wait for their own blood,” v. 18). Youth do not see the end from the beginning. Their inexperience makes them shortsighted.

Final thought: Take a few minutes today to warn your children of these three problems—especially when they say, “I don’t see anything wrong with it.”

Tags: frank hamrick, wisdom for parents